“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
There is a close connection between physical freedom and spiritual freedom. When we celebrate Remembrance Day, we give thanks to God for the blessings of living in freedom in our land. We remember the many soldiers who have given their lives in the first and second World Wars, the Korean War, and subsequent conflicts. We recognize that if they had not sacrificed their lives, it is likely we would not enjoy the peace and freedom that we have today – a freedom that includes being able to worship the Lord and give praise to his Name, even in public life.
These freedoms came under attack from the totalitarian regimes in Germany and Russia. Both Nazism and Communism were a threat to our ability to live peaceable lives and to serve God according to his Word. Thus it is with great thankfulness that on November 11 we observe a minute of silence and remember God’s gracious care in providing us with the freedoms we enjoy today.
As Christians those freedoms extend beyond the physical. Our freedom is far greater than that. For the basic problem facing mankind is not slavery to another world power. It is slavery to sin, bondage to the evil one. By nature we are born corrupt; we are slaves to sin (Ps 51:5; John 8:34). But thanks be to God for his grace in Jesus Christ! “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). Christ has paid for our sins with his precious blood, freeing us from the control of Satan by his death on the cross. And by the power of his Holy Spirit, Christ allows us to live in fellowship with God again. That is true freedom!
On Remembrance Day we remember the sacrifice of many men and women who gave their lives so that we may enjoy peace and prosperity in Canada today. But we should also be reminded of the far greater peace and freedom that Christ has earned for us with his sacrifice on the cross.
And then we all need to ponder the sacrifices we are willing to make today, to live in the freedom we now enjoy. We are called to live holy and thankful lives to the glory of God. We are called to serve one another in love. For when we live in close association with God and our neighbour, we will enjoy true freedom, both now and forevermore!
Exerpt from meditation by Rev. J. Poppe is minister of the Redeemer Canadian Reformed Church at Winnipeg, Manitoba published in Clarion, THE CANADIAN REFORMED MAGAZINE
Volume 57, No. 23 November 7, 2008