This month we will remember and celebrate the founding of our nation; a nation founded upon liberty and freedom for all. The memory is still fresh of patriots such as Patrick Henry who stood and boldly proclaimed Give me liberty or give me death!
God's Word also has much to say about liberty and freedom. In the Gospel of St. John we read, Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, `If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free`. ( St. John 8:31,32) The liberty Christ spoke of has two aspects. This liberty is both freedom from and freedom to.
Liberty is liberation. It is to be set free from something. Christ offers us freedom from guilt and condemnation. St. Paul had this in mind when he wrote, For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, `Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.` Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for `He who through faith is righteous shall live`; but the law does not rest on faith for `He who does them shall live by them`: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us for it is written, `Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree`.... (Gal. 3:10-13) We have failed to live up to God's law and have become guilty. We have acquired legal liability resulting in death. But through faith in Christ we have been set free.
Having been set free from the curse of the law and the power of sin we are now free to become something. It is not the freedom from moral responsibility, but the freedom to be truly moral; to be what God originally intended us to be, His image bearers.
Non-Christians do not understand this concept of freedom. As Chuck Colson put it, We lack even a common language for moral discourse. When we use the term liberty, for example, we mean the classic definition, famously articulated by Benjamin Franklin: the right to do what is right. Our Founders tied freedom the highest political goal to moral truth. But postmodernism unties the knot; today, when newcomers to our pews hear the word liberty, they think the definition is, `the unrestricted right to do what we please`.
As human beings we were originally created by God in God's image. We have an essence. We might say there was a blueprint for us. Sin has corrupted that essence, but through Jesus Christ it is being restored. We are not free to disobey God and do as we please. No, we are now free to become all that God intended for us to be, to reflect God's image.
What Christ offers is real liberty and freedom. He gives us a freedom greater than any nation can give. Through faith in Christ we are set free from sin and condemnation; we are set free to become truly human. There is no greater freedom!
By Rev. F. M. Levi
Missionary of The Month
Rev. and Mrs. William Jerdan (Diane), Montpellier, France.
Bob Fulk, age 73, went to be with the Lord and his beloved wife Mary on June 2, 2005. Our prayers are with his daughters Lois and Robin and their families.
5th Sunday Potluck Luncheon
July 31, 2005, after Morning Worship.
The Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote will visit St. Andrew's on Sunday, September 11, 2005. Do plan to attend this very special service.
Become An Organ Donor
Your church has been without a pipe organ since we moved from 99th Street in 1990. Wouldn't you like to feel the power and the glory of a good organ once again? We have a unique opportunity to make our church worship service better at a low cost for the purchase of a great organ.
We are blessed to have found Sunny Stiklius who has been doing a bang up job as choir director and pianist, but her true love is playing the organ. New digital technology now makes it possible to put the sound of a pipe organ into a smaller electronic package for a fraction of the cost of a pipe organ. A Rodgers Masterpiece Custom Organ will produce that sound.
Your contribution can be tripled. The Vestry of St. Andrew's Church has approved matching funds to double your contribution, as has the Christ Church Trust, making your contributions triple!
Please make a special donation to your Church now. The cost of purchasing and installing the organ is $50,900.00. We need to raise $12,500.00 in contributions from our church members to take advantage of the matching funds and have the organ in use on September 11, 2005. Please send your tax-deductible contribution made out to St. Andrew's Church today. Then come to church to hear the great sound of this magnificent instrument. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Check out Rodgers technology at their web site at www.rodgersinstruments.com, or stop into the church today.
July 5 Susan Levi
July 7 Gladys Muir
July 11 Jennifer Domato
July 11 Fran Chessman
July 11 Vicky Elliott
July 21 Sue Horosinski
July 21 Brian Ardizzone
July 25 Veronica Elliott
July 28 Sara Levi
July 31 Ron Lamb
A MORNING PRAYER
-Estella Wright Szegedin
Lord, in the midst of this morning hour,
Let me feel Thy love and power,
Let me so full of Thy spirit be,
That others can see the Christ in me.
Let me reflect Thy presence sweet
To every one I chance to meet.
Let me a friend to people be
That they, too, will search for Thee,
Let me add to this, Thy day,
Love and peace in every way.