He was not the first of our family to join our Nation’s Armed Forces to protect our freedoms, but rather he joined a deep history of our family’s men who answered a call to serve and protect our nation from the tyranny that is so often in the world.
Several of these family members served during wartime. My father’s side of the family served in WWII in both the Army and Navy. My mom’s dad served during Korea in the Navy. Others have served during peace time – ready to answer the call. All served with honor and all served to ensure that their kids, families and complete strangers would have the same freedoms that they held so dear.
But from where does this idea of “freedom” come from? From where is “freedom” born? I believe that answer is very simple. It is born in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
It was through the saving work of Jesus on the cross that our greatest need was met. The debt of sin we owed to God, which we could not pay, and the sinful nature that enslaved us to sin were defeated “once for all.” The mission of Jesus was not just to destroy the enemy’s stronghold on our lives, but also to defeat the very one who enslaved us. It is through Jesus’ great act of sacrifice that we can and have been set free.
So, as we celebrate our nation’s freedom this week, let us not forget where true freedom actually comes from. Let us not forget the war that was waged – against evil and the evil one – on our behalf. Let us give thanks and praise to the one who inspires freedom and be moved to Paul’s charge to us in Galatians 5:13: “…don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
Jude Champagne is the worship pastor with First Christian Church in Carthage, Missouri, and a former CIY staff member. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.