Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

On Saturday, most of us gathered for cook outs and fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July and to remember our freedom and independence. On Sunday, we broke bread and shared a cup to remember our freedom from sin and shame through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. For both of these events we ate, we remembered and we gave praise, but what happened the day after?

On the 5th of July we were still free from tyrannical rule. On the day after communion we were still saved by the blood of Christ. Yet the parties end and the communion supplies are carefully washed and put back in their cupboard. Do our lives move on and our hearts become subdued, or do we continually remember the sacrifices made for our freedom and the impact it has? Do we remember that Christians are still persecuted around the world in 2015, that children are still handed guns to fight for warlords, and families are still dying of starvation because of corrupt governments?

We are truly blessed to live where we live, to enjoy the freedom to gather in worship and study, to attend school and to walk without worry down the streets protected by brave civil servants. Moreover, we are blessed to have a God who loves us beyond reason and not because we earned it or paid for it, but because He is a God with unconditional love who created us to be His children, free from our mistakes and free to love Him without bounds.

let us give thanks to those who keep us free while protecting our lives and our homes, and let us give thanks to a God who wrapped His arms around us to walk through the thick and thin of life with us. May we eat, remember, and give praise each day for the blessings we have, Amen.

Blessings, Pastor Stacy