This will be the back page for the bulletin at Fishkill UMC on Sunday, July 1, 2018 (6th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B). Services are at 10 am and you are welcome to attend.
If there is one common theme for this week, it would have to be freedom. And invariably, when I think of freedom, I think of the flags Ann and I have but which we do not fly. I also think of Richie Havens singing “Freedom” at the opening of Woodstock and Crosby, Stills, and Nash singing “Find the Cost of Freedom.” The freedom of which CSN sang is the very freedom represented by the flags that the families, such as ours, were given by a grateful nation. But the cost of freedom is also represented by Richie Havens singing.
Freedom doesn’t come automatically but after much effort; while Havens was improvising much of what he sang that day in August 1969, he couldn’t have done it without preparation and study.
Our own freedoms also do not come automatically but as the result of much effort by each of us and those who came before us. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, we can never be truly free if there are others who are not free.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended them on their desire to excel. But his commendation comes with a caveat; you cannot succeed at the expense of others, a thought later expressed by John Wesley.
Our freedoms today cannot be measured in society’s terms, for society sees things unequally. If we are to be truly free, we must be willing to help others find the same freedoms we enjoy.
Christ died so that we may live; our freedoms are found through Christ. Are we willing to help others find that same freedom?