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The Glorious Liberty

On Independence Day we remember men like Patrick Henry who loudly
proclaimed, "Give me liberty or give me death!" All people long for liberty
and many have fought and died to secure political freedom. And to them
we owe our deepest gratitude.

There is, however, another liberty which is far more important. It is
the liberty spoken of by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans. The
apostle wrote, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are
not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For
the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of
God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but
by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation
itself will be set free from its bondage and decay and obtain the glorious
liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has
been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation,
but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly
as we wait for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."
(Romans 8:18-23)

To speak of liberty implies the presence of its opposite; bondage and
oppression. All of creation is under bondage. The present condition of
the world and life is not normal or natural. It is abnormal and
unnatural, because it is not how God originally created the world. A curse
fell not only on humanity, because of our sin, but on nature as well.
All creation is now subject to futility, decay and moral corruption.

Throughout the course of human history many have fought and died for
liberty. Liberty is costly; it must be won. And the price is
self-sacrifice. There is One who fought and died that we might be freed from the
curse of sin and death. There is One who through His struggles made it
possible that we might have ultimate and final liberty. That One of
course is Jesus Christ. Yes the cost of such liberty is high. The price
was paid in blood; the precious blood of Christ our Lord and Savior.

This liberty that Christ earned is all encompassing. It is freedom
from guilt and the power of sin for those who turn to Christ in repentance
and faith. St. Paul wrote that now believers,"...have the first fruits
of the Spirit...." Having forgiven our sins and freed us from
condemnation God's Holy Spirit begins to transform our lives that we might be
holy as He is holy.

The apostle also tells us,"...we wait for adoption as sons, the
redemption of our bodies." As Christians we are now legally adopted, but we
wait to actually move into our new home. The redemption of our bodies
refers to the resurrection when we shall have bodies that will never age
or become ill. As William Barclay put it, "The Christian waits, not
for death, but for life."

When the world speaks of liberation, often it is liberation to become
more corrupt. That is not liberty, but even greater bondage.

St. Paul included nature saying that it too will be set at liberty.
Nature is beautiful and a source of inspiration and joy, yet, it is a
pale image of what it once was and what it will be again. God speaking
through the prophet Isaiah said, "Behold I create new heavens and a new
earth." (Isaiah 65:17) St. Peter echoed those words in the New
Testament saying, "But according to His promise we wait for new heavens and a
new earth in which righteousness dwells." (II Peter 3:13)

Christ came to give us liberty; to set us free from corruption of every
sort that we and all creation might be what God originally intended
that we be. That is true liberty. We have the beginning of that liberty
now through faith in Christ our Savior. We look forward to complete
liberation at the return of our Lord and King.

By Rev. Frank M. Levi

Parish News
St. Andrew's Preschool concluded for the year with a program for the 3
year old children on May 22 and the graduation of the 4 year old
children on May 23.

The Women's Guild held their annual Rummage Sale on Saturday, May 31,
2003. The sale was very successful and the ladies thank all of you who
helped or contributed items for sale.

The mid-week Bible Study resumed regular meeting on May 22, 2003. We
are now meeting on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in the church. A study of St.
Paul's Epistle to the Romans is now under way.

Annual Church Picnic
Following Church on Sunday, August 10, 2003. All are encouraged to

Missionary of The Month
Sue Brodish, Christian Kindergarten, Schwalmstadt, Germany.

Domestic Missions
Bishop & Mrs. Fincke (Ann), and their children Katie, Emily, Elizabeth,
and Andrew. All Saints Reformed Episcopal Mission in Vacaville,

Happy Birthday!
July 7 - Gladys Muir
July 11 - Jennifer Domato
July 11 - Fran Chessman
July 11 - Vicky Elliott Cullen
July 21 - Sue Horosinski
July 21 - Brian Ardizzone
July 25 - Veronica Elliott Harrison

I am Old Glory: For more than nine score years I have been the banner
of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born
amid the first flames of America's fight for freedom. I am a symbol of a
country that has grown from a little group of thirteen colonies to a
united nation of fifty sovereign states. Planted firmly on the high
pinnacle of American Faith my gently fluttering folds have proved an
inspiration to unfold millions. Men have followed me into battle with
unwavering courage. They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity.
They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to
enjoy the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which have been granted
to every American as the heritage of free men. So long as men love
liberty more than life itself, so long as they treasure the priceless
privileges bought with the blood of our forefathers; so long as the
principles of truth, justice and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human
hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States
of America.

Written by Marine Master
Percy Webb (1879-1945)

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