Today is a day to celebrate the freedom that we have. We have many freedoms for which to be thankful, but we must also take this time to remember those who made it so we can have those freedoms.
Many sacrifices were made in the late 1700s to fight off the greatest empire of the time to create this new nation. Ordinary colonists became an army to fight for what they believed in. Against incredible odds they fought over many years in all conditions to bring us to the place where we can have the freedoms that we have today.
Since then leaders have continued to work for our freedom. Soldiers have fought to keep our freedom. And ordinary citizens have stepped up to make sure that freedom is enjoyed by all. It has taken wars, conflict and compromise, and much hard work to continue the legacy of freedom we have. The reason being, no one wants to go back to a time where we lose our freedoms. That's why people still are trying to come into America. Regardless of how we feel about her, America is still looked on as a bastion of hope and freedom. (Go to Haiti and you will see.)
While I love my country, and the freedom I have here, there is a freedom I enjoy that is beyond the freedoms I have here and would never EVER give up, the freedom in Christ.
"For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Galatians 5:13-14)
In Christ we have been given freedom from the flesh; the flesh being sin leading to death. That freedom was also bought with a great price, the life and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Paul is exhorting the Galatians and all Christians to stand firm and to remember the freedom we have been called to. It is a freedom that we must cling to. We must not go back to the old sinful nature which is a return to slavery, instead we must use our freedom to serve others and fulfill the law the way Christ did in loving other.
Today, rejoice that we live in a nation where we can love and service our Savior openly. Come tomorrow morning to church in Mellette where we will celebrate communion, a time to remember Christ's sacrifice for our freedom.