“Freedom is fleeting.” “Freedom ain’t free.” “Give me liberty or give me death!” Each of these phrases should be somewhat familiar to each of us because they are part of our US American society and vernacular. However, for the Christian, freedom is something different than how it’s interpreted within a secular US American society. Freedom for the Christian comes from being tethered to Christ—how oxymoronic! And our God has indeed called us to freedom and provided it to us by the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So in the USA during late spring and early summer, we have a span of about 35 days of strong patriotism such as Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June, and the 4th of July. Flags fly, firecrackers pop and sparkle, we remember those soldiers who have given their lives for our freedoms, and we relax to enjoy what we know to be an expression of freedom. But I’d challenge this notion of freedom as I did in part one of a five-part sermon series, Freedom, by asking the question, “Are you truly free?” The point was to highlight that if we are not in Christ and a slave to him, then we are not really free because we are relying on ourselves to procure our freedom. Part two (last Sunday) was about being “Free from Fear”. The premise of that sermon was that God doesn’t want us to fear because nothing or no one is more powerful or more present in our lives than the Almighty God; therefore, there is nothing to fear.
Part three will be Free to be Together! Believe it or not, some people believe that we should not be together if we have differences in thought, theology, ethnicity, non-traditional gender orientations, and politics! But has God called us to sameness or oneness?!?! We’ll explore that (and a few other points) as we journey into the book of Acts and some pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit).
Part four will be Free to be Honest but Open with Each Other. If we’re going to be set Free to be Together, then we need have to lay some ground rules about how we’re going to function and dwell together as the family of God. Don’t miss this one!!! We will consider passages in Acts and Matthew for this message.
Finally, part five will be Free to Dream. And yes, it’s what it sounds like and more because if we aren’t dreaming God-sized dreams for our church, the city of Burleson, and the surrounding communities, then we are dreaming too small. What can we begin to dream of that’s so big, bold, and impactful for the Kingdom of God that without God we couldn’t accomplish it?
Friends, I’m so excited not only for this sermon series, but for what God is about to do in and through us at First United Methodist Church of Burleson. We have such a rich legacy and broad shoulders upon which we stand that we must continue to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12) and run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? Let’s be set free because whomever Christ sets free, then they are free indeed (John 8:36).