St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

             
FREEDOM
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“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm,  therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

-Galatians 5:1

 

On a Fourth of July a few years back, Becca and I went backpacking. We didn’t have any exciting plans for the 4th, so we decided we would hike to a spot in the mountains we had never been

before. That night, we got everything set up, cooked dinner, opened a bag of wine, and settled in for the evening. What we did not realize was that we were only a few miles from the town of

Battle Ground, WA. This is a city infamous for its residents’ incredibly excessive display of

fireworks. I will never forget that night - sitting on sleeping pads, wrapped in sleeping bags, and watching  fireworks explode at rates I thought impossible! We watched as at least one hundred explosions went off every minute for hours. It was unbelievable!

 

Wherever you are in the United States on Independence Day you will likely see fireworks. It is one of the many ways we celebrate and show off the freedom that was won by the sacrifices of so many service members over the last two and a half centuries.

 

It’s kind of a bizarre way to celebrate freedom, isn’t it? Fireworks cost tons of money and all they do is blow up. And on top of that, it cannot be very fun for military members to hear all those

explosions. But whatever the reason for fireworks, they are one way we celebrate American

freedom. We shout to the whole world that America is the best and we blow up over $675 million in one night.

 

As we prepare to witness this excessive display of American freedom again this year, it got me thinking about how we display our Christian freedom. We believe that Christ freed us from sin, death, and, the devil. No small feat! So how do we show that off?

 

In Martin Luther’s famous and important essay, “On the Freedom of a Christian,” he wrote two statements about Christian freedom. Both are true.

 

“A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none.”

 

-and-

 

“A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

 

On the Fourth of July, it is easy to imagine freedom like Luther’s first statement. Nothing says that we are “subject to none” like blowing up extremely dangerous bombs in the air for fun.

 

But Christian freedom is always held together with Christian service. Freedom in Christ always leads to care for others. The more we understand the gift given to us on the cross the more we

become a gift for those in need.

 

While the fireworks and the celebrations might make us think “America first” this 4th of July, Christian freedom will always remind us “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”

(Matt 20:16) So maybe this year when we hear all those explosions we might think to ourselves, “how will I use this incredible gift of freedom to be a gift to someone else?”

 

By Joe Natwick, Associate Pastor

 


WORSHIP TIMES
September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
CONTACT INFO
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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