Date: Friday, July 4
Scripture: Galatians 5:13-15
Verse: You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. (Galatians 5:13)
Many years ago, my family decided to go to a beach near our house to watch the fireworks. We had heard we would be able to see New York’s fireworks from the New Jersey side of Hudson Bay. It was a beautiful night, and we were excited to hang out on the beach and share fireworks with our toddler. Soon though, some people arrived on the other side of the beach and began to have their own fireworks show — sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets were all there. It seemed harmless enough until they lost control of a bottle rocket that never got very high off the ground. Their response to this mistake was joy, and their fireworks seemed less and less under control after that. For our own safety, we left before the fireworks we had gone to see started. The irony wasn’t lost on me — their celebration of freedom infringed on mine. Hmm… What do you do with that?
According to today’s reading, there is something that trims our freedom in Christ, love. We are not free to be selfish, to indulge our every impulse. Rather we are free to love — to love our neighbors, our friends, our families, and even the people who shoot off bottle rockets without any concern for where they might go.
Today, as we celebrate the freedom we enjoy in our great country, may we remember we are free to share the love of Christ with those around us in what we say, what we do, and how we love.
Prayer: Thank you God for the freedom I know as a citizen of this great land. Use me to extend that freedom to those around me. Amen.
Action: Go see the fireworks!
Respond: What is your favorite memory of a fireworks display?
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