So often in America we talk about our freedoms – freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. We talk about our rights – the right to bear arms, the right to assemble, the right to vote. These freedoms and rights were established to protect the citizens of our nation from tyranny. Our founding fathers knew about tyranny. They had seen rulers exploit their subjects. They had experienced oppression at the hands of tax collectors and imperial enforcers.
When we in the church talk about freedom, we also talk about freedom from tyranny. We know the tyranny of fear that washes over us and leaves us unable to move. Fear that trumps our courage and our common sense. We know the tyranny of death that seems to have the last word. Death that leaves us alone and afraid. We know that evil lurks in this world, ready to ensnare and trap us. Evil that waits around every corner. We know we need freedom.
But our freedom, true freedom, real freedom, does not come from a Bill of Rights. It cannot be mandated or legislated. Real freedom cannot be ordered by a legislature or protected by an army. We cannot make ourselves really, truly free.
True freedom comes from Jesus Christ. He alone holds the keys of life and death. He alone can conquer our fears and set us free. He alone can remove from us the stain of sin. He needs no army, no government, no vote, no law, no court to set us free. He has already made us free at Calvary. At the cross, our freedom was won, once and for all.
This month, as we remember those who gave their lives for our American freedoms, let us remember all the more the One who gave his life for true freedom. It is because he laid down his life for us that we can be free from sin. It is because he rose again that we can be free from death. It is because he walks beside us every moment that we can be free from fear.
And our freedom is not for ourselves alone. We are set free so that we may serve. Our freedom comes at a cost to Christ and it comes with a calling to live in his way and to serve him as our Lord. The freedom we know in Christ leads us out of our comfort zones, out of our routines, out of ourselves to serve our Lord and our neighbor.
This month, let freedom ring in our town. Let freedom ring in our neighborhoods. Let freedom ring in our families. Let freedom ring in our lives so that others will hear the song and come to know true freedom in Jesus Christ.