“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19

lady liberyShe rises majestically above the waters of New York harbor. For over 100 years she has been the symbol of freedom to the world. Millions have passed by her by sea and air seeking freedo
m. Some sought political freedom. Some sought economic freedom. Others sought religious freedom. For many, these shores did not disappoint.

While we are far from a perfect nation, the Statue of Liberty is one of the symbols for what I believe to be the greatest nation on earth. A nation founded on the principles of justice, equality and hope.

In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote a poem, a phrase of which is inscribed on the wall of the Statue of Liberty. While the poem itself is largely forgotten, this phrase is not. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” has welcomed millions over the last 100+ years to a new home of opportunity.

Another symbol of freedom stood alone on a hillside over 2000 years ago. While the statue of Liberty is a symbol of economic, religious and political freedom, the cross of Jesus Christ stands as a symbol of spiritual freedom.

Emma’s phrase sounds remarkably similar to one that was stated thousands of years ago by Jesus Christ. He quotes the prophet Isaiah, in Luke 4:18-19 by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

Political freedom can be taken away by ravages of war or the passing of time. Economic freedom can be wiped out by recession, disaster or health.  Religious freedom can be weakened by the fickle norms of society.

Spiritual freedom can never be taken way. Jesus offers us hope in the midst of trials; encouragement when we are discouraged; courage when we are afraid; forgiveness when we sin; restoration when we’ve failed him.

To some, the cross symbolizes religion, rules, regulations, intolerance and judgmental attitudes. A personal relationship with Jesus shows us that the cross really is a symbol of God’s great desire to show you forgiveness, hope and a freedom no one can take away.

Today, take some time to thank God for the great nation he has given us. Take time to pray for those who have served and are currently serving to keep our freedom safe. Most of all, thank Jesus for the freedom he gives to those who have made him Lord and Savior of their lives.

PRAYER: Creator God. You have given us so many things we don’t deserve. Thank you for blessing us beyond measure with a freedom that transcends any power, seen and unseen. In Jesus name, Amen.

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