Freedom Lives

By Marcy Barthelette


Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12

I catch a glimpse of red, white, and blue outside my door, waving briskly in the morning breeze, the thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen colonies that became these United States and fifty stars, one for each of our modern-day states. It’s really a pretty unique flag when you think about it. The design connects the old with the new. Those original thirteen colonies desired freedom from the controlling nation that existed across an ocean of water. During a time when ocean travel was the only route from England to the American colonies, communication was difficult because of constant delays. Americans wanted to be free from the encumbrance of regulations and taxes laid down by that foreign power. And so they fought and freedom was eventually won but at a great price. Many died in that quest and more were gravely injured, but they counted it a worthwhile struggle because the end result was a new nation, a grand experiment in an idea called democracy.

It is Memorial Day, or the one our government has declared in order to guarantee a three-day weekend for all to enjoy. The actual Memorial Day is tomorrow, May 31, and by the time the Gatepost is released, it will be the day after. But does it really matter? Should we celebrate our freedom and honor those who gave their lives to achieve it for only one short day a year. And I wonder how many people take the time from all the exciting holiday activities to think about what they’re celebrating. How many don’t even know the story? Since that first great struggle for freedom here in the United States, there have been many others, at home and on foreign soil. Men and women have continually stepped up to fight for the freedom of others and countless souls have been lost to battle. We’ve all heard the slogan, “Freedom is not free,” but how often do we really examine those words? 

Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. Marion Wright Edelman

And how many have never heard another story of freedom achieved at an unimaginable price? We take our national freedoms for granted while other peoples in other nations live in deplorable conditions, often under the rule of corrupt governments.

Have they ever heard that long ago a Child was born, He grew into a man and walked the limited area near His birth, teaching and healing and listening to all those He encountered. After only a short lifetime, He died on a cross to offer freedom to each of us. We have the freedom to follow Him and continue His work throughout our world or to turn away and live our lives without the blessing and peace of His company.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. II Corinthians 3:17

Just as soldiers have sacrificed and died on battlefields throughout the history of earth, Jesus gave His earthly life to buy our freedom. It is up to us to remember “whose we are” and to make that free choice to follow Him.

It is for us to make the effort; the result is always in God’s hands. Mahatma Gandhi

One of our most basic freedoms is the ability to worship in the way we choose. As Christians, we spend time reading and studying, gathering together to sing and pray. But the worship service and our Bible studies are just the beginning. They are our training ground, our “boot camp” so to speak. They supply the tools we need to carry out our mission. As our modern world seems to be spinning out of control, where oppressors wish to subjugate others, where light seems to be overcome with darkness, it is our responsibility to shine the light and love of Jesus in every dark corner. We must trust that through Him even the most mean-spirited of minds can be changed. It’s time to take a stand. Will we stand for freedom and light in Christ or will we allow darkness and oppression to reign?

We really can make a difference to the world around us. It will be risky but remember, Christ is within us. You will never out-dream God. He will give you resources according to your aspirations. He will lead, protect, bless, and encourage you. Maybe it starts today.  Bear Grylls, Soul Fuel 

Memorial Day may be folded up like our flag and put away for another time, but we needn’t forget its significance. We can honor those who’ve gone before us by picking up their banner. There is much work to be done, people of God, so let’s put on our armor and get to it! Together, let’s make the most of our freedom!

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