The 4th of July is the unofficial “middle of Summer.” And in the middle of summer, I think about my lawn.
Here in Southern California, if you don’t take care of your lawn, your yard will revert back to its original state – desert.
You have to cultivate it, water it, mow it, and fertilize it.
I’m sure this is much the same way in other parts of the world as well (except for the desert part, most likely).
Gardens are very similar. To get vegetables and flowers to grow, you have to water, feed, and cultivate to maybe get them to grow (there’s no guarantees here).
I’ve noticed that weeds, on the other hand, need no such care. Do nothing and they grow best! Neglect them and they grow strong. Ignore them and they take over the garden and the lawn!
Freedom in our country is like a vegetable or flower. You have to work hard to get it to flourish – and there’s no guarantee that it will. But take it for granted or ignore it and it will die, that’s pretty much guaranteed.
The Christian faith is similar. Ignore it, don’t feed it with God’s Word and sacraments on a regular basis and it will – at best – not grow. Worse-case scenario? It could die.
But it is different than a garden or lawn. Because your growth in faith is totally dependent on God. You cannot do anything to create it or make it grow stronger, other than receive God’s grace through His Word and Sacraments.
Thankfully, God is totally committed to creating and strengthening your faith in Jesus Christ. Look no further than the cross to see how committed God is to you being free from your sins and brought into a saving relationship with Him.
There will be no droughts of God’s grace, even though our lawns and gardens may have to suffer through droughts (here in California, we face droughts and water shortages every year).
On this Independence Day weekend, I’ve heard it said many times that freedom is never free. I believe that to be true. God has abundantly blessed us in the United States with men and women who sacrifice and sacrificed to make sure we are free.
This is also what Jesus Christ did for you and me. Our freedom from sin, death, and the power of the devil is a free gift to you and me but it did come with a tremendously high price – the life of the Son of God.
I pray you will not neglect this gift as you remember your freedom this weekend!