The last of the crowd wandered back to their cars. Red, white, and blue streamers, pinwheels, stickers, and flags looked a little bedraggled as the festivities ended for the day. Tired toddlers hung onto their parents’ hands as they were half carried, half-dragged to the car. Sleepy babies snuggled in close as damp curls laid across their foreheads and thumbs hung loosely in their mouths.
This is what freedom looks like. Remnants of celebration, well-worn decorations, the last strains of patriotic music, and all floats, fire trucks, and police cars tucked in for the night. Tired and happy was the norm that day. Even parents felt the celebration was worth it. But the cost of freedom should last more than one day of the year.
It’s that time of year when we as a nation pause to celebrate freedom. The independence that came at a huge cost, but still reigns today. I was one of the people, who for years stood in the July heat on the side of neighborhood streets as floats, fire trucks, and local scout troops marched by. The occasional high school band joined in the cacophony of noise. The irony is that it is one day, once a year and that it is not nearly long enough.
Freedom is so much more than pausing mid-summer to celebrate and recognize those that sacrificed so much so we as a nation can live in democracy. It is a daily reckoning that who we are and how we live reflects the gift of this freedom. When I think back to those days with young sons standing alongside others in what I considered an act of reverence to so much loss, I find that this should mark a beginning. Not a one and done chance to celebrate patriotism and freedom.
I know I take freedom for granted. That in the middle of every day life, I expect my country to continue to stand for the rights and freedoms of its citizens. I wake up each morning ready for the day believing that my routine will continue relatively uninterrupted. It’s an assumption that as a believer I cannot hold onto without remembering the cost.
I provided my sons with an understanding of the 4th of July as they were growing up. This included an overview of freedom, but looked more like flying the flag and singing and listening to patriotic music. A sprinkling of fireworks, picnics and all the food you can eat added to the fun. I know now that who my sons and I are in Christ is the greatest gift of freedom we could ever know. It is a privilege that spans every day and is deep set into the very core of who we are and whose we are. The cost came through the Son of God and was more than any Father could bear. It was the ultimate sacrifice that led us to liberation from sin and washed us clean with God’s grace and mercy.I pray that as I celebrate the 4th of July this week I stand in the promise that freedom comes at a cost. #freedom #childofgod #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
I am a resurrected child of God washed clean of my sin by Jesus. The cost was a life and the result was freedom in Christ that is more glorious than other other freedom I know. Romans 6 describes freedom like this:
But now, as God’s loving servants, you live in joyous freedom from the power of sin. So consider the benefits you now enjoy—you are brought deeper into the experience of true holiness that ends with eternal life (Romans 6:22 TPT)
I pray that as I celebrate the 4th of July this week I stand in the promise that freedom comes at a cost. That as I spend time with family, I am part of a bigger family that works to reflect the love of Jesus every day of the year. As flags fly and music plays, may I know without a doubt that worshiping the One who provides lifelong freedom is a gift that lets God know I am grateful. And in the middle of this holiday that comes around every year, may I recognize that God promises freedom for everyone.
Father God – You grant me a freedom that ends with eternal life. For this reason, I am able to walk as your child knowing that love, mercy, and grace are mine. You wrote your name on my heart and this gesture marked me as chosen, enough and yours. Freedom is mine because you desired for me to not only love like you, but share that love with everyone. On this day and all the days of my life, I thank you for freedom and for a life that looks like lifting others up so they may also walk in your freedom. Amen.
Blessings of freedom for all!
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