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Some of the greatest stories ever told are stories of freedom. It has always read well in books and it continues to play well in the movies. The film Glory starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman was about the first all black
military unit in the civil war. The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson, was about this country’s freedom. Another Mel Gibson film was Braveheart—maybe you’ve
heard of it! Do you remember how the film ended? William Wallace, the Scottish hero, is being tortured. The king wants him and his people to give into his power and rule, but Wallace suffers through it and won’t give in. As he marshals all his
strength in the last moment, Wallace lets out a loud cry of “FREEEEDOOOOM!”

Freedom plays well in the movies. But there are also freedom moments based in reality that are forever powerful. Who could forget the freedom speech of Martin Luther King? “When we let freedom ring from every village and everyhamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s
children, black men and white men, black sisters and white sisters, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, ’Free at last! Free at last!’ Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

In Washington, D.C. stands the Capitol Building of the United States of America. The cornerstone was laid in 1793, but the crowning touch is the statue on top of the rotunda known as the “Freedom Lady,” being placed there in 1863. The Freedom Lady stands nearly 20 feet tall. A crest of stars frames her face. A shield of Stars and Stripes is in her left hand. She was sculpted in Rome, then the “Lady” was brought to America aboard a sailing ship. During the trip across the Atlantic Ocean, a fierce storm developed. The Captain ordered cargo thrown overboard to lighten the load. The sailors even wanted to throw the heavy statue overboard, but the captain refused, shouting over the wind, “No! Never! We’ll flounder before we throw ‘Freedom’ away.” So, Freedom was saved and the statue stands above the dome today because one man believed not only in the stone symbol, but the true ‘Freedom.’

Freedom is something we all want. As Americans, we seek it out and our nation was built upon it. No one wants to have their freedom taken away. Ever since we were kids we wanted to grow up as fast as we could so we would be free from the awful reign of our parents whose rules and regulations seem to rain down on our parade of fun. Now, as adults, we continue to complain about work invading our freedoms or an overreaching government. We love our freedom.

Jesus was a freedom-lover too! He said, “If the son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). He also said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Bill Gaither wrote a song several years ago that includes the words, “Shackled by a heavy burden, neath a load of guilt and shame, then the hands of Jesus touched me, and now I am no longer the same. He touched me . . . oh he touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul. . . something happened and now I know he
touched me and made me whole.”

Most people are unaware that there are broken shackles resting at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. She is breaking away from that which had her in bondage!

Jesus has broken the chains that held us and now he offers freedom to anyone who wants it. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “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.”

[Ron Otto, Preaching Minister at Lincoln Christian Church]


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