When someone mentions the word “freedom”, what comes to your mind? The American Flag, 4th of July, Independence Day? Perhaps you focus more on what we are free from- tyranny, slavery, taxation without representation, pompous British people taxing our tea? If it was coffee, I’d be upset and probably would’ve joined in on that party in Boston. But tea? Not so convinced…
When I think of freedom, I think of the movie Braveheart. Remember the epic speech William Wallace gave in front of an army of wavering freedom fighters? Epic. Remember these lines?
“I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen, here, in defiance of Tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do without freedom? … Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live…at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance – just one chance – to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom!”
Gets me completely fired up just to remember those lines and the movie. And then there is the end when Wallace cries out for “Freedom”… incredible story and film-making. There is something about seeing somebody so completely driven by an ideal that they are willing to die for it. It moves us. That passion is contagious. And you see that in the film and in the speech- how the example of William Wallace was enough to inspire an army of thousands of men to literally put their life on the line for freedom.
Now- Braveheart is a movie- loosely based on historical facts. But there is a sacrifice far greater, far more inspirational, that impacts the freedom of every person who has ever lived for all eternity. If only we could have a minute understanding and appreciation for what Christ has done for us- you and I could change the world together. Think about it… the courage and passion displayed by William Wallace should be child’s play for the depths of sacrifice we should be willing to offer for the sake of the cross. We have countless examples of martyrs before us, from whom we can learn from. Have you heard the story of Polycarp of Smyrna? He was a disciple of the Apostle John. In 155AD, in his advanced age, he was brought before a Roman proconsul and ordered to renounce Christ. His response- “86 years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” He was then martyred for his faith.
What would inspire that kind of devotion to Christ? Would you even like to have that kind of devotion to Christ? What would that look like in our community? It’d be amazing, right? This Sunday we will be looking at the Freedom we have in Christ from Galatians 5:1-15. This is kind of an “Emancipation Proclamation” for Christianity. It is inspiring, hopeful, instructive, and true. Join us this Sunday morning, 10:15 at Christ Community Church as we explore this amazing passage in detail.
Have a great weekend- God bless you- see you Sunday.
-Pastor Nathan Rice