Happy Interdependence – Christ Followers!
It’s the HEAT of summer, that time of year where our national and personal independence are celebrated and hot dogs, baseball, apple pie and fireworks all seem a natural part of our good times shared with family and friends. As Christians we know that there is more to our “FREEDOM” than just our independence as a nation. We understand that our true freedom comes to us through an interdependent relationship with Jesus Christ. The price of our freedom was paid fully by Jesus, who lived his life to redeem us from our sins, who died on the cross to reveal the fullness of God’s love for us and to pay the price of our freedom. God raised Jesus to new life—to everlasting, eternal life and, Jesus, in love, has called us to follow him and share his freedom and fullness of life, beginning here and now! This FREEDOM IN CHRIST far surpasses even the national freedom we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America…though both have been secured by the sacrifice of others. I find it understandable why others living in nations that oppress their people would seek to find their way to America, much like our immigrant relatives did long ago. They come here, often at great personal cost and risk and threat of safety, seeking a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They come seeking freedom from bondage and oppression and poverty and hardship. The challenge for us as Christians is to advocate for families seeking refuge and freedom understanding that our relatives were once slaves in Egypt, and perhaps outcasts from other war-torn parts of this world.
In Christ we know of TRUE FREEDOM and it is part of our calling to share CHRIST and HIS FREEDOM with everyone, everywhere and especially at our borders. How can we help keep families together, both aliens at our borders and families in our communities, struggling to hold it together? We know that FREEDOM is costly and we are aware of the sacrifice Jesus Christ has made for us all, so how can we pay it forward to those who are marginalized in our world and in our nation today? As Nelson Mandela said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” More than a question of politics, this is a central question of our Christian faith today. So how will our Christian faith motivate us to share in the cause of seeking and supporting FREEDOM for others who are seeking help today?
My hymn for July is He’s Everything to Me written by Ralph Carmichael
Vs. 1 – In the stars His handiwork I see, On the wind He speaks with majesty,
Though He ruleth over land and sea, What is that to me?
Chorus: Till by faith I met Him face to face, And I felt the wonder of His grace, Then I knew that He was more Than just a God who didn’t care, That lived a way out there, and Now He walks beside me day by day, Ever watching o’er me lest I stray, Helping me to find the narrow way. He’s everything to me.
Vs. 2—I will celebrate nativity, For it has a place in history,
Sure, He came to set His people free, What is that to me?
Ralph Carmichael (born 28 May 1927, Quincy, Illinois) is a composer and arranger of both secular pop music and contemporary Christian music, being regarded as one of the pioneers of the latter genre. Married to Marvella and father to composer and artist Carol Parks. His big break came at the end of the 1950s, when his work came to the attention of Capitol Records, who asked him to provide the arrangements for an album of mainly sacred Christmas songs by one of the label’s biggest stars, Nat King Cole. The result, The Magic of Christmas, was released for the 1960 festive season.
May God Help Us To Share the Freedom We Enjoy!