July 05, 2007

The Day After Independence

So yesterday was July 4th...the day when America marks the first day of her independence from the British. It is a day filled with fireworks, hotdogs, friendships, conversation, comraderie, and relaxation. It is a day where we celebrate the relief of being free from the tyranny of the King, a time to cut loose and let our hair down and to revel in our new found ability to do whatever the heck we want to do.

And then, comes July 5th. Much the same as our fledgling country felt in the days and years after we "liberated ourselves", many American today will go back to a life where they are most certainly not free. In fact, they are slaves.

In the years following 1776, the country was anything but sure. Fighting, rebellion, economic disaster, division, mistrust, malice, and political maneuvering marked the years leading up to the Consitutional Convention. Independece, while a great notion and divine ideal, certainly coudn't continue to mean every man for himself. Surely there had to be order, discipline, and respect for the common good. It felt good to declare ourselves free, it was a whole nother thing to actually understand that freedom brought responsibility, hard labor, difficult times, loneliness, and uncertainty.

It is not much different today, July 5th. While it feels good to revel in the moment of July 4th, millions returned to life today completely in bondage. In bondage because they are afraid to take a chance. In bondage because slavery is more certain than freedom. In bondage because conformance to the Man of America (The Almighty Dollar) is easier than standing on principle.

You see to be a revolutionary, you have to throw off the tyranny and take whatever may come. For those who wish to remain under the Man, you simply take orders, don't rock the boat, all the while you may be mumbling under your breath how much you detest His ways. This is exactly what Jesus DID NOT WANT for his followers.

To be a disciple of Jesus is to be liberated from the bondage of sin. Slavery to sin is certain. Following Jesus is not. You see when you are a slave to sin, you know what's coming because you determine it. When you are following Jesus, you have no clue what the next day will bring because you are not calling the shots.

And it's in this Gospel freedom that we find the true ability to love like we should, live like we should, take risks like we should, say what we should, do what we should, and be who we should. How is that possible? Because although the next day may be unsure, the future and ultimate outcome most surely is NOT. We know how the story ends.

The American Revolutionaries had no idea how the Great Experiment would turn out, yet they fought on. We know with absolute certainty how the Divine Experiement will unfold and yet we hide like cowards behind our money, our job security, our safety, our comfort, ourselves. We should be the most bold of anyone, yet we are cast with the disciples lot at the foot of the cross. WE have scattered like sniveling little babies into the shadows because we are afraid of what might happen to us.

People may not like us. People may not approve of us. People may fire me. People may hurt me. All the while, Jesus the King stands victorious in heaven, with the keys over death and sin firmly in His hand. And yet we will not believe. We will not follow.

The Gospel is the most liberating, freedom creating, independence making news in the history of the universe. And yet we don't believe. And because we don't believe, we don't act.

God, please forgive us, and more importantly me, for not living in the freedom that Christ won for me at the Cross and that His sinless life gained for me here on Earth. Father, please forgive me. And Father, forgive us for being cowards and fearing the Man more than we fear You (THE KING).

No comments: