Independence Day meditations: Freedom in the Gospels
June 28, 2021
Dear parents and families,
It has been such a joy to see so many families -- many of whom I have only met over a Zoom screen -- attending our Outdoor Family Worship services! While I cannot put my finger on exactly why, there was a certain energy in yesterday’s service that has sustained me through the last 24 hours. Please, come join the fun at Family Worship at 9:15am on Sunday mornings in the Hilary House garden. It is a blessing and a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families.
We are approaching Independence Day -- July 4 -- if you can believe it. Growing up, I loved July 4: fireworks, barbecues, parades. As a native Delawarean, there was a parade we attended where we would even see Joe Biden sometimes! (This was prior to his tenure as Vice President in the Obama Administration.) Now that I am older, though, July 4 has a complicated meaning for me. The Collect for Independence Day says that “the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us.” While this is true at face value, it does not tell the whole story. Millions of people were and are not entirely “free” under the law. Where do we go, then, to find the liberty and freedom for which we yearn?
I have found immense freedom in the Gospels. Seeking and serving Christ is one of the most liberating, freeing experiences to which I have ever committed. Serving Jesus might sound counterintuitive in the pursuit of freedom (why serve another if one is trying to become autonomous?) but it truly is an incredibly life-giving and life-sharing experience. Following and being faithful to God has begun to release me from the shackles of insecurity, jealousy, spitefulness, and hatred. My heart is more open to newness, to people different from myself, and it is open to love.
There is still much work to be done until Independence Day means the same thing for everybody. However, in serving God and loving our neighbors, we become a little bit closer. A little closer to freedom, a little closer to each other, and a whole lot closer to God.
This Independence Day, I invite you to join us at Outdoor Family Worship for fellowship, laughter, and the unyielding love of God. Join in the liberating, redeeming Spirit. It will be a fabulous way to start July 4.
Happy Independence Day, St. Martin’s families. It is a joy to serve God in Christ with you.