May 2011 – Week 5

Welcome to Worship!
We Worship Every Wednesday at 10:30

Meditation for the week of May 29, 2011

Freedom Isn’t Free or Is It?

If you have been fortunate enough to visit Hawaii, you probably took the time to go and visit Pearl Harbor. It is an amazing place. The crowds assemble early each day and wait patiently for hours to be able to board a boat and travel out to site of the U.S.S. Arizona. This is a silent, peaceful grave for hundreds of young American servicemen. It is amazing how orderly, how quietly, how patiently people wait for their turn to go and pay respects to those who gave their lives on December 7, 1941. Many of you who have visited this site may have known someone who died there or maybe someone who survived that attack. It is obvious to anyone who has visited this memorial that there certainly is a cost to our freedom.

There is another place in Honolulu which speaks to the cost of freedom. There is a military cemetery up on the hills overlooking the city and the famous beach at Waikiki. There are crosses lined up in perfect order representing a U.S. serviceman or woman who died in World War II in the Pacific theatre.

Reminders like this are not just in the Pacific, but in Europe as well. Many of you will recall the “Battle of the Bulge” in Bastogne France. This is where the American Commander was asked to surrender and his reply was short and succinct. He replied, “Nuts.” A bit away from Bastogne is the Ardennes Military Cemetery in Belgium. This cemetery covers 90 acres of rolling countryside and contains the graves of 5328 U.S. Servicemen. Again this is a testament that freedom is not free.

As Christians we have been freed, freed from our enslavement to sin and the devil. This has been done for us by Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven, lived here on earth without sin, but then went to the cross and paid the price for our all our sins. Jesus did all of this, granting us freedom from eternal death and complete and total forgiveness. Amazingly this freedom cost us nothing – it is the free gift of a loving and gracious God who sent his Son to live and die for us. Finally by his resurrection, His rising from the dead, Jesus promises us eternal life with him. All of this again at no cost to us.

So is it true that freedom is not free? True freedom from sin, death, and condemnation in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior is free to us. But there is a cost. It cost God the life of his only Son, to secure our freedom from death and Satan. It cost God a great deal to give us our freedom. So as we remember all those who died to provide us freedom in this earthly life, it is vitally important that we pause to give thanks to our great God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to give us eternal freedom and life. Thank you Lord.

Our Weekly Prayer: Remembrance for Memorial Day
Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

Gracious Lord, heavenly Father, this week the minds of all people turn in memory to those who have laid down their lives in defense of our country. We indeed owe a debt of gratitude to them who gave their all that we may continue to enjoy our way of life. We remember and give thanks for the peace, liberty and freedom we enjoy. We pray that you will guide the counsels of government, strengthen the bonds of faith in our Almighty God and may the ideals of liberty and peace prevail. Above all, Lord, grant that we your children by faith in Christ will be obedient and strong followers in which we uphold your righteousness for all to know and see. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

The weekly worship services conducted by Lutheran Pastors and coordinated through Faith, Hope and Peace Ministries (a 501(c)3 organization as recognized the Internal Revenue Service) are provided at no cost to the attendees or the hosting facilities. Contributions to support this ongoing ministry may be made to “Faith, Hope and Peace Ministries” and sent to:

306 Arlington Road, Itasca, IL. 60143.

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