The talk of freedom is in the air!
As we prepare for Independence Day celebrations, what completes your Fourth? A local parade, backyard barbecue, baseball game, fireworks, or the free outdoor concert (join the celebration at Veterans Park on the 4th between 11am and 2pm)? Whatever your choice, talk of freedom is in the air!
This day inspired orators like Frederick Douglass who asked, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” It inspired preachers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak about “The American Dream.” Both are worth reading in their entirety as they speak of the opportunities and challenges of liberty in America.
In Dr. King’s speech he said, “America is essentially a dream, a dream as yet unfulfilled…where men of all races, nationalities, and creeds can live together as brothers. The substance of the dream is expressed in these sublime words, words lifted to cosmic proportions: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Very seldom if ever in the history of the world has a sociopolitical document expressed in such profoundly eloquent and unequivocal language the dignity and worth of human personality.”
Freedom has a dual focus as “freedom from” and “freedom to.” American colonies were freed from British tyranny and thereby freed to share those liberties for the benefit of others. American history has been the outworking of freedom’s duality as indigenous people, enslaved African people, Hispanic people, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and others have each sought their own unalienable rights within this nation.
True liberty isn’t license, but the freedom to serve others.
- What personal “tyrannies” have you been freed from? Rejoice!
- What have you been freed to improve this community? Recommit!
May you & yours have a safe & joyous 4th of July.
Rev. Dr. Sybrant serves at Murray Hills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more info, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road, Beaverton. www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230