Celebrate Your Freedoms

As we gather to celebrate Independence Day, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the concept of freedom—both as citizens of this great nation and as followers of Christ. July 4th marks the day when the United States declared its independence, and we honor the courage and vision of those who fought for our freedom. While we cherish the liberties afforded to us as Americans, it’s also important to recognize the deeper, spiritual freedom we have in Christ.

In his State of the Union address on January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear

President Roosevelt had a monument commissioned to depict these four freedoms. Created by sculptor Walter Russell, it was dedicated in 1943 before a crowd of 60,000 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The monument honored Colin P. Kelly, one of the first U.S. heroes of World War II. The monument was moved to Kelly’s hometown of Madison, Florida, and was re-dedicated on June 14, 1944. You can see it in the photo above and read a news article HERE if you want to know more.

Madison, Florida, is also my hometown. I grew up knowing who this hero was, his family members of my church. I grew up hearing of his sacrifice for our country and the freedoms that he fought for. And I appreciate the four freedoms that Roosevelt set forth almost a year before Kelly died.

As we celebrate July 4th this year, as we give thanks for our Independence Day, I give thanks for those like FDR who could give us a vision of a world where all could enjoy these basic freedoms. I give thanks for those who have given their lives for these four fundamental freedoms that we enjoy in this great nation.

But always when I think of these four freedoms, I am grateful for a fifth freedom — the freedom of Christ. In Galatians 5:1, Paul writes, “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.” This verse reminds us that Jesus Christ has set us free from the chains of sin and death. His sacrifice on the cross has granted us a freedom far greater than any political independence—the freedom to live a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

As we celebrate with fireworks, parades, and family gatherings, let us also take a moment to celebrate our freedom in Christ. May we use our freedom to bring light to the world and to reflect the love of our Savior.

See you soon,
Pastor Lynn

PS – Rev. Judy Boroto will join Pastor Kim to lead worship on the Magee Campus and Pastor Tu’ulauena will lead worship on the Sanctuary Campus. Join us as we kick off a “Favorite Things” series.