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July Message from the Pastor
“ C R O S S P A T H S ”
J U L Y 2 0 1 7
July, of course, brings to mind Independence Day and freedom. An almost universal symbol of political freedom is the Statue of Liberty. What a beautiful lady she is. And at her base is written, in part, these moving words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breach free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
There is another symbol of freedom, however, far more important than the Statue of Liberty in the total scheme of things. It is of course the cross of Jesus Christ.
Please don’t get me wrong. Political freedom is important. As long as the Statue of Liberty and our flag stand for freedom and justice for all then we can stand tall. After all, freedom is God’s idea.
It has never been God’s will for any of God’s children to be enslaved. When God created us in God’s own image, God created us for freedom. Whenever this country is on the side of freedom and justice and fair treatment of all people we can be sure we are on God’s side.
Political freedom is important. Many wonderful lives have been lost in the cause of political freedom. Still, political freedom is not the most important kind of freedom. There have been many who have been imprisoned for long periods of time who have been freer in their minds and hearts and spirits than many who walk around enjoying the benefits of political freedom every day.
Regardless of your political inclinations, you have to wonder if now Nelson Mandela was ever really a prisoner of the South African government. How does a man maintain such dignity, such grace, such ability to articulate the concerns of his people after being confined for such a long period of time. His body may have been imprisoned, but not his mind, not his heart, not his soul.
The Apostle Paul knew what it was to be imprisoned. Some of his finest letters were written while he was behind bars. The Apostle Paul knew that there was a freedom far more important than political freedom.
The only kind of freedom that really matters is freedom within. Without that we are not really free anyway. It is the freedom that comes from knowing that regardless of the circumstance, whether in prison or out, we are under the watchful eye of God who knows us and loves us. It is the freedom of knowing that our sins, regardless of how deep their stain upon our soul, have all been washed away. Now that’s freedom!
Political freedom is grand. Even grander still is the freedom which was granted to us over 2000 years ago by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of what He has done, we are free forever!
Have a blessed Fourth of July,