Monday, June 30, 2014

Celebrating Freedom

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring America’s independence from Britain. It’s one of my favorite holidays because it is often filled with many of my favorite things: cookouts, family, friends and fireworks! It is a great celebration as we enjoy the freedom we have in our country that many in our world will never know. But actually, at Melonie Park Church, we began this celebration of freedom a week early... but in a different way. We celebrated the testimonies of changed lives through baptism. People spoke of the new freedom they found through faith in Jesus Christ. A freedom from the penalty of sin and the hope of a new life in Christ. I love the way Eugene Peterson portrays the picture baptism in The Message. He says,
“That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace = a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism in the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of is raised into a light filled world by our Father so that we can see where we are going in our new grace-sovereign country.”
As we celebrated the freedom we have in our country, always remember that this world is not our home. We live in a new life in a new land where grace reigns through faith in Jesus Christ. May your life tell the story of His redemption every single day!