Monday, July 2, 2012


During our Independence Day celebration, our attention is drawn to the constitution of our great nation. This document, while drawn up over two-hundred years ago, still serves our nation well. It is a credit to those who crafted and adopted this fine document. Added to the constitution were the first ten amendments which are now commonly called the "Bill of Rights." The constitution, along with the Bill of Rights, guarantees to each one of us the many freedoms which we have come to treasure and are very proud of. 
It is easy for us to take these freedoms for granted. While we were attacked on 9/11, no enemy army has invaded our land. We can go to the voting both without fear of being shot. We can openly disagree with the political views of those in office without fear of recrimination. We don't have to hide our Bibles for fear they will be taken away. We have the freedom to worship God at the church of our choice.
Yet there is one kind of freedom which our nation cannot give us. It is freedom from guilt of sin. Even if we feel  we lead a pretty good life, we still have to admit we are not perfect, i.e. we sin.  Of that the Bible says, "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10)  So we realize that we have a serious problem. 
The constitution of our nation guarantees many different freedoms to us. In a much greater way, Jesus offers each of us a spiritual freedom. It is a freedom which gives us true rest. This is the rest Jesus speaks of when he bids us: "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest - rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28) Rest for our souls is nothing less than the complete forgiveness of all our sins - with no strings attached. Jesus guarantees us this freedom as a free gift which we receive through faith. And this freedom is to be prized much more than the freedom which our constitution grants us.
Each year we celebrate with vigor the birth of our nation and our freedom as a country. Well we should.  These are tremendous blessings from God, blessings not every nation enjoys.  A quick review of the items on the evening news reminds us of this.  
As children of God, as we celebrate the constitution and birth of our nation, may we also remember the spiritual freedom which Christ gives to us through faith.  This is the most precious freedom of all and one which no one can take from us.  It is ours for all eternity.