July 2018 

FREEDOM

“So, I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me. I gladly agree with the law on the inside, but I see a different law at work in my body.” (Romans 7:21-23, CEB)

Life is a struggle between good and evil isn’t it? These words from Romans came to my mind as I thought about our country and the fact that we will celebrating our freedom once again on July 4th. So, what is this “freedom” that we celebrate?

If we go to the beginning of the bible, Genesis, chapter 2, we read that when God created the world, God gave us a vocation: To farm and take care of the world. But also, we were given the freedom to choose our sustenance from it. However, there were boundaries. The humans could eat from any tree in the garden, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And of course, we know what happens next. The humans were tempted and ate from the one tree that God told them not to. Real freedom does not mean that there are no limits. Freedom is not a blank check on which to write our selfish desires. When our military men and women went to the battlefield, they didn’t do so just because they believed in the highest ideals of life, like honesty and integrity. They made sacrifices so that we would choose those things. The fact of the matter is: Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand with one another.

This is what Jesus means when he speaks of the “Yoke”. A yoke is a restraint, a boundary. And when he says it is “easy”, he means that living free within the boundaries can bring peace to our hearts (And it is implied: Living within the boundaries brings peace to our communities).

You see, it is also true that Jesus died for our freedom, but it was not only so that we would make the right choices, but so that we would be in right relationship to God.

Brothers and sisters, let’s show our fore-fathers and mothers that they did not die in vain. And let’s show Jesus that his death really means something to us. Let’s live our lives like they are really worth saving. That’s how we honor our military men and women who have died. And that’s also how we find our true purpose in life and the peace which God intended for us. Our freedom was bought with a high price!

Paul concludes the scripture which began this article: “I’m a miserable human being. Who will deliver me from this dead corpse? Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (V.24-25a)

In Christ’s footsteps we walk,
Pastor Roger