This week is the perfect time to join in our worship online. We simplified our online service and made it even easier to participate, and viewing does not require a Facebook account! Join the video stream on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/coldspringchurch) or, if you don’t have internet access, use our New call in number: +1 (929) 205-6099. Enter Meeting ID: 875 2479 7260.
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This week, we celebrate more than Independence Day, our Interdependence Day. Christ proclaims freedom for all! And until all are free, none are free. Spiritual freedom. Emotional freedom. Physical freedom. Mental freedom. Freedom to enjoy the abundant life in Christ, sins forgiven, hope restored. Let’s stand for something that means everything. Freedom to follow Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. Independence Day can be a fun weekend, and a perfect time to think about its origins.
Most of us will be celebrating the Fourth of July, Independence Day. Enjoying safe-distancing and wearing masks at cookouts are musts as we enjoy gatherings with family. What do you have planned? Lower Township is limiting the in-person enjoyment of its annual fireworks display by live-streaming the event.
What did you learn in school about the first Independence Day? I recall hearing about the revolutionary drama, courageous freedom-fighters raising their fists at the oppressor. It wasn’t until many years later, and I realized that while Independence Day proclaimed freedom across the land, not every American was free. Landholders had power. Slaves weren’t free. Women couldn’t vote. Independence Day can’t just be about “my” independence at the expense of others. In the Gospel this week, we hear Jesus’ words to those who are weary and overburdened. He says All. Come. Rest. But he also says, “learn of me,” which means, “be my disciples!” What does a disciple, a student-follower, do? Well, for one thing, they follow and model the master. What did Jesus do? Jesus stood for children. Jesus stood for those considered unlovable. Jesus stood for those who could not stand, those who were sick, he healed them. Jesus heard the prayers of the faint and the faint at heart and forgave them. Jesus healed those who were different, those who were abused. Jesus stood for everyone from every nation and welcomed them to a life of abundance, and secured them a safe place to pray.
Cold Spring Presbyterian Church has stood for freedom since 1714, think about it, that’s five decades before the Declaration of Independence was written. You may have memorized it as I did, especially this excerpt: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And we are called to fight for freedom, for others, because we are interdependent as a nation of regions, neighbors, guests, and strangers, too. We are interdependent as members of the community of faith, the Body of Christ.
What rights will you exercise this week as you hear Jesus’ invitation: All. Come. Rest. Stand?