The Third Sunday After Pentecost
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in general congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. — John Hancock and friends, The Declaration of Independence
A Christian is lord of all, completely free from everything. A Christian is a servant, completely attentive to the needs of all. — Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian</p>
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. — Paul of Tarsus, Letter to the Galatians
I realize that we are still a week away from the celebration of our country’s declaration of independence, but the lectionary is a bit quick on the draw and presents us with the stunning passage from Paul’s letter to the Galatians regarding freedom this week instead of next. So, as not to let an opportunity pass that might allow us to observe the call to Christian freedom against the backdrop of our nation’s birthday and the language of freedom that sits right at the center of the celebration, I decided to consider this theme on Sunday. I hope you all will be able to join us… see you then!