What a beautiful word! Freedom on this day means many things to many different people. To some, it is a reminder of the freedom we have to worship, debate vigorously our different opinions, be protected through our rights, express our creativity, live peacefully in our homes, travel without interference or questioning as to where we are going or why, or the tremendous cost of freedom through the countless lives sacrificed trying to protect it. We celebrate the beauty of freedom today on the birthday of our country. God is to be praised for that and we should reflect with a thankful heart the freedom we enjoy each day!
But today, I ask a deeper question. Why is freedom the bedrock yearning inside us all? Imagine your freedom being taken away from you in an instant. Being arrested and hauled off to jail. Or being captured on the battlefield of war. Put yourself there for just moment. Can you feel the stress, the sadness, the welling up of the desire to escape, to fight for your freedom again? Why is that there and so much a part of our emotional DNA? The answer may be more simple than you considered. Why would God hard wire freedom within the very fabric of our souls, all the while knowing the terrible possibilities we could do to others with that freedom?
Love. That’s it, that’s why. Love. How can it come down to love? What does love have to do with freedom? EVERYTHING! Bestowing freedom upon us was the most loving thing God chose to do!
Walk with me to the cross. Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane agonizing over what is about to happen to him. He knows his freedom is about to be ripped away from him, he even asks for God to take from him the loss of his freedom and for there to be some other way. But, in a twist of irony, he freely accepts and embraces love; that his loss of freedom was exactly why he came, all out of love. In that moment, Jesus freely chose love, which was the very thing that would cost him his freedom in order win ours. You see, freedom and love are intricately woven together, an unbreakable bond that requires a choice, a choice rooted in the desire to bring life.
It was love that drove those brave men to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. And out of their love was the undeniable desire to be free. It was love that inspired them to march upon the fields at Lexington and Concord a year earlier. It was love that filled their souls with courage as they fought for 8 years to win their independence. It was love that forged the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And it was love that fueled Jesus as he carried his cross to Cavalry’s hill, freely and willingly.
On this special day, remember your freedom was born out of love. The love of Father, who gave his Son, so that you may have freedom in Him. And just to make sure you know how free you are, he sent his Spirit, that you might be reminded daily your freedom was born out of love.
Happy 4th of July friends. Today, cherish your freedom in Christ born out of love and celebrate with thankful hearts the freedoms you enjoy as an American! May you be blessed, your family blessed, and may God continue to bless the United States of America!