Freedom! That certain entity which every soul longs for but often doesn’t know how to keep once it is obtained.
My imagination has been sparked by a book I have read about the second president of the U.S., John Adams. He is not recognized as often as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, yet he was one of the most noble presidents of our republic and was a leading statesman of the 18th century. He said that “The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. There was no American nation, no army at the start, no sweeping popular support for rebellion, nor much promise of success.” But there was a desire to be free from the King of England and the burdens and rules of that country. Therefore, men and woman pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to obtain that which was in their hearts.
I want to pause on this 244th anniversary of the birth of our nation to thank the Lord for men and women who sacrificed for freedoms in this land of ours: the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly and the freedom to redress our grievances.
There is also freedom in worship for which I am thankful. In a recent Bible reading in Acts 15, I noted that “there arose up certain of the sect of Pharisees which believed, saying, that it was needful to circumcise them and to keep the law of Moses.” But Peter answered them by saying “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” How grateful I am that it was in the Lord’s heart and mind to include Gentiles in His Church, and not to put us under the bondage of the law and its system of rituals and ceremonies. How thankful I am to have the freedom in worship that enables one to come directly to the Lord in prayer and communion!
By its very nature, freedom allows us choices and if one so desires he or she can be slothful; but let us be vigilant in keeping the freedoms our founding fathers gave us at great cost, and let us guard diligently the freedom that we enjoy in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Freedom is not free,” someone has well said; “Eternal vigilance is the cost of liberty.” So, we once again celebrate our nation’s birth and with it our unequaled freedoms enjoyed in these United States, but it will be to our everlasting shame if we neglect to pay the price of preserving these gifts for the generations to come. It will require of us prayer, participation, perception and perpetual vigilance as citizens of history’s finest experiment in what we have come to call a “democratic republic.” God help us. God bless America.