All the flags we have probably seen this week remind me we will celebrate a very important holiday on Saturday (tomorrow.) How many of you know what holiday we will celebrate? That’s right, the 4th of July. July 4th is also known as Independence Day. Do you know what independence means? It means freedom – being able to choose. In our country, we enjoy lots of freedoms. We are free to come to church and worship; we are free to choose what we want to be when we grow up; we are free to choose where we want to live; we are free to choose most of the things that affect our daily lives. I know, this year almost all of the parades and city celebrations have been canceled because of the coronavirus, but we still need to remember this important holiday and can celebrate it at home and with family.
Now, this might come as a surprise to some of you, but did you know that freedom isn’t free? That’s right; many people had to pay the price for us to have the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. There are countless men and women who helped to pay that price. Some have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, or Air Force. Many of them fought in wars, and some were hurt and wounded. There are also many people who have loved ones who paid the ultimate price for freedom. They gave their lives fighting for our freedom.
Yes, we have a lot of freedoms, but the greatest freedom that we have is the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. This freedom wasn’t free either, Jesus paid the price. The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is death, but you and I have been set free from this penalty. We have been set free because of what Jesus did for us. The Bible tells us that Jesus died on the cross to set us free from the penalty of sin. Instead of death, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have been given eternal life. Ephesians 3: 12 says, “In Christ and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember to stop and thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedoms. But even more important, let us remember to thank God for Jesus, who has set us free from the penalty for sin because He was willing to pay the price.
Let us say a prayer together. Father God, thank You for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. We are thankful for those who paid the price for that freedom, but even more important, we thank You for the freedom we have because Your Son, Jesus was willing to pay the penalty for our sin. Please bless our country and help all those affected by the coronavirus now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.