In preperation for July 4th, I want to remind everyone that freedom isn’t free, or at least the freedom we’ve come to know.
Many years ago when this fine country was founded, women, men and children fled their homes boarded ship and sailed to occupy what we now call North America.
In middle school history class the story is often told that these white English folks were being oppressed, religiously and politically – they wanted freedom. My history teacher left out the fact that as these English people left their oppressive government to find freedom…so they murdered, raped and pillaged the indigenous American peoples.
Freedom isn’t free in this paradigm: freedom involves killing people. Running from oppression to become the oppressor, that’s much of the American story. Freedom therefore, isn’t free.
The Christian narrative, I would argue, is in complete contrast to this redemptively violent “freedom” jargon. As we walk through Galatians we keep reading the word freedom, and I hope that as we’ve discussed on Sunday morning, that you’re well aware of the stark difference between Paul’s understanding of freedom and this modern sense of American freedom.
Freedom is from God and God doesn’t need to kill anyone (or “pour out God’s wrath on Jesus in your place”) to make it happen.
God has generously lavished the cosmos with freedom. A freedom from any way of thinking that says you are not beloved, valuable, and beautiful.
God has always and will always forgive. You are free, and nothing can say otherwise.
God has always and will always love you unconditionally. You are free, and nothing can say otherwise.
There is no prayer you must pray. There is not belief you must adhere to. There is no 7 step process you need to follow. You are loved. You are accepted. You are forgiven.
It’s the recognition of this freedom that truely transforms us.
Freedom will always be present, the question is, will we awaken to it?
(P.S. It’s my Birthday!)