Galatians 5:1a, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Christ Sets Us Free
5 Christ has set us free to enjoy our freedom. So remain strong in the faith.
Visual aid: American flag
When I say, “Fourth of July,” what do you think of? Perhaps images of fireworks in the sky or sparklers in your hands come to mind. Maybe you think of a cookout or a day at the pool with family and friends. Do you think of the American flag? When you see the flag, do you think about our national anthem? The lyrics of the “Star-Spangled Banner” describe the events of our country at war against Great Britain in 1812. The lyrics, “And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there” reminds us of why we celebrate this day with fireworks. Through the struggle of wars and conflicts, our country continues to fight for its freedoms.
This passage of Scripture is a letter from the apostle Paul to the Christians in Galatia. Paul writes “Christ has set us free to enjoy our freedom. So remain strong in the faith.” Paul was talking about freedom too. Freedom means that we can live in such a way that someone else doesn’t rule over us or control our way of thinking.
I like the words at the end of the “Star-Spangled Banner: “O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” As followers of Jesus, we do have freedom. No one tells us how to think or rules over us. The love that God has for us brings us into that freedom.
We have freedom to make decisions on our own. We are free to choose the church where we worship. We are free to pray anytime and anywhere. You are free to show and tell someone else about Jesus. When you follow Jesus, you are set free to live a life of love to others, no matter who they are. And you can do that in a country that is a land of the free and the home of the brave.
Christ Jesus, you have set me free! Teach me that you will guide me into new life. Show me how to live in the freedom of your love. Remind me of that love when I see fireworks and the American flag while I celebrate Independence Day, and every day, following you. Amen.