September is the month that Chilean independence is celebrated and thus my memory banks are loaded with many fond memories of fun, fellowship and foods
that are part of the celebrations. As much as I love our fourth of July celebrations and the rich history those celebrations remind us of, I have to say that our national celebrations are short in comparison to what we experienced in Chile.
After Chile, we served in Mexico where again national independence is celebrated in September. More fond memories. As I sat at my desk reminiscing those times with friends I thought back to my world history lessons and remembered how many countries in the western hemisphere celebrate their independence in September.
There are nine. This made me look up how many countries worldwide celebrate their national independence in September and counted twenty. Twenty countries around the globe celebrating the same thing, their liberation. And yet, although each was liberated, we will find a difference in how they used that freedom. Some used their
freedom to develop into something that did not exist before they were freed from the powers that governed them. Others became a small mirror image of the country that had ruled them before they won their freedom. Some became fiercely independent while others maintained a culture of dependence on outside powers. Some flourished, others wilted. In short, they used their freedom differently.
The Bible tells us that in Christ we are freed from the shackles of sin that once ruled us. We have been liberated from the fear of death because we are told that in Christ we find life and life in abundance.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ from the law of sin and death
We know that the Scriptures tell us that in our new life, we are to grow spiritually, produce fruit for His kingdom, and also reflect Christ with our words, actions with our very lives. Yet, we are forced to sadly recognize that just as there are
countries that have misspent their freedom, there are persons who have misspent the freedom they have in Christ. Freedom given with the intent that we would flourish spiritually and be beacons of light is used for self indulgence and reflected by spiritual atrophy. Just as national independence celebrations are enhanced by others who remind each other what is being celebrated, our freedom in Christ is enhanced by the fellowship we find in our local church family. A family that reminds us of what we have been set free from; what we have been set free for; and
how to be good stewards of that freedom. Let us help each other remember the beauty of the freedom we found in Christ and encourage; empower; and excite each other to reflect who we are in Christ.
Have a wonderful September celebrating our freedom,