Independence Day was celebrated on July 3rd in Nenana this year. The reason for the switch was to allow and encourage folks to be in church, worshiping on Sunday the 4th. The celebration in Nenana was as fun as ever. There was a great breakfast at the Verhagen’s – free – and with an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the veterans amongst us. As we were reminded – our personal freedoms have been purchased by the sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation. We were also reminded to continue to pray for those who place themselves in harm’s way in our defense.
Having our celebration on Saturday will allow us to celebrate freedom on Sunday in God honoring ways. The greatest freedom Christians have is not the freedom of speech, assembly, right to bear arms, or any other freedom provided by our nation (although we should be thankful for those freedoms.) Instead our greatest freedom is through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross frees us from the penalty of sin – that we can have eternal life through grace and not the punishment we deserve.
My personal challenge is for one an all to celebrate our freedom in Christ – today, tomorrow, and every day. Even more – we can share that freedom with others.
Today in Nenana, part of the celebration was a flag ceremony and the recitation of the pledge of allegiance. In the Christian faith, there is also a pledge that states many of the essential beliefs of Christ’s church. In many churches, during the regular worship service, a speaker will ask the congregation, “Christian, what do you believe?” The congregation then recites the Apostle’s Creed. Ponder this creed and spend time in thanks to God for the freedoms this nation enjoys, and even more for the freedom he provides in Christ alone.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic* church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
* – the term catholic in the usage means universal
For more on the various creeds of the church visit CRTA’s website of Historic Church Documents.