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Pastor Andrew Hinderlie

Pastor’s Ponderings July 2021

 

“God's son has made me free from Satan's tyranny, from sin and shame,  from earthly blame, from death's domain  and hellish flame.  God’s son has made me free.” A text in Danish (Dansk) by Hans Adolf Brorson (1694 - 1764), "Guds Søn har gjort mig fri"

Edvard Grieg

This old hymn speaks volumes of what we are made free from when Jesus makes us free.  In the following Epistles we hear the word freedom and what it means to be free.

 

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

Galatians 5:13-14 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

+ Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

+ 1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom to cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

 

In July we have our 4th of July, our Independence Day, and in recognizing it we are called to recognize that then it was the Independence and freedom from England for men who were landowners and the Gentry and leaders in this country but now today we see it has evolved and no more is for just a few but now it is Rich and poor, male and female, people of all colors, ethnicities, religions and lifestyles.  It is not for us to decide who gets this freedom and who also then has all the rights therein but what is stated by our Constitution as it has been written and even amended.

When we look to what the Bible says about our freedom we are called to be free from our sinful nature, from covering up evil and being slaves to the world and sin and instead to serving one another in love and living as servants of God.  In doing this we will have more than the words of the Constitution to make us free, we have Jesus who breaks the chains of sin, death and the power of the devil and gives us the freedom that is in new life in Christ and in living in this freedom we go beyond the Constitution’s words to the words in that hymn at the beginning.  Thus we, too, shall be bearers of God News and take to heart and deed Jesus words in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed.”  In the words of Maya Angelou, “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”

In Austin Power’s movie International Man of Mystery, the evil genius, Dr. Evil tells Austin that Freedom failed to which Austin replied, “No, man, freedom didn’t fail. Right now we’ve got freedom and responsibility.  It’s a very groovy time.” Freedom does come with responsibility, and that freedom in Christ calls us to proclaim and live out that freedom that is in Christ.  Let us work as God call each of us to live and bring about a liberated life for all to which Jesus has called us.  Happy and safe 4th of July.