There is probably not a person in the world that does not know this flag. They know that it is the flag of the United States, and, for many, it represents a level of freedom and opportunity that they wish they had.
For us, it is the symbol of the greatest country on earth. It represents the freedoms that we cherish and that so many have sacrificed much for. We have a standard of living that few in the world have, and the opportunities are endless. In fact, we have it so well that many don’t appreciate it and take it for granted. They want more and more, want it for free, and are even willing to destroy what others have. Even so, the flag is still a source of pride and gratitude for the vast majority of people.
There is another standard that is a symbol of freedom. It is the cross of Christ. The cross represents the price that Christ paid to free us from the bondage of sin. We are no longer under a sentence of death. We have been freed to live our lives as God’s children, loving and serving each other in the name of Christ.
However, we must be cautious. St. Paul says in Galatians 5: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.” (vv. 1,13) As in our country, some people use their freedom as license. Other things in their lives, such as wealth, fame, power, influence, self-satisfaction, become the standard that they raise as the most valuable. The cross is the only standard by which we should live, because it is the only one that has lasting value, the only one that will last forever. It represents eternal life, eternal freedom from death.
At worship this month, we will be turning our eyes upward, toward the cross, toward Jesus, as we consider what has real value in our lives and how we live that out. Our hymn of the month, My Worth Is Not in What I Own, will give us the opportunity to rejoice in what Christ has done for us–AT THE CROSS. I encourage you to listen to it on YouTube.
May God bless you as you enjoy the freedoms we have in this country and celebrate the freedom that Christ has won for us.