“For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Happy 4th of July! I hope you are able to take some time to thank God for the blessings of this country and for all those who have made our freedoms possible. Let’s also continue to pray for our nation, especially now, as we continue to strive to do better for all who call this land their home.
Freedom is not necessarily a straight-forward concept, and Christian freedom is no different. As Luther says, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” While it seems contradictory, it reflects what it means to be a follower of Christ who was in the form of God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave (Phil. 2:6-7). What a gift and what an example to follow.
Yet the very freedom we have in Christ means we do not have to worry about following God perfectly or serving others perfectly. It frees us from the sin, guilt, and selfishness that get in our way, so that we can try. Each day is another opportunity to try to follow Christ, to love God and to love others. If we don’t do so well with that on any given day, let us repent and look forward to the next day, another gift from God inviting us to learn from our mistakes, to turn again to God, and to reach out to others in love. The grace and service of Christian freedom is exactly what we imperfect people need and what the world needs from us.
I thank God for the freedoms we enjoy in this country and I pray for this country. I thank God for the freedom we have in Christ and I pray we might use this freedom to serve others.
Serving with you in Christ,