A Fragile Freedom
“His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:3-4)
We are only a few years into the twenty-first century (the 2000’s). Many of us can look back and remember the unusual fear that people had when the 1900s were ending and the new century began. Concerns were expressed about the computer breakdown that would occur and other fears surfaced. Some people designated the year 2012 as the end of the world. What would the future hold for us? It seemed that the future would be threatening to the entire world history and, as a result, the apprehensions escalated.
It is, however, essential that we remember who is to be trusted by every generation. It is God who sees to it that the blessings continue. Think back on the previous century. World powers and despotic rulers raised their heads and fell again, such rulers as Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, and Sadam Hussein. Even the feared United Soviet Socialist Republic fell into shambles as freedom returned to many nations in Asia and Europe.
But the fragile nature of freedom is not easy to maintain due to the fact that the heart of mankind, including citizenry and rulers alike, have the natural corruption of human nature to deal with. Mankind does not think about other people in Christian love. All people need to be brought to know the mercy and love of God for mankind in order to have a freedom that lasts.
Martin Luther, in one of his writings on government and society, put it this way:
If the world were composed of genuine Christians, that is true believers, no prince, king, lord, sword, or law would be necessary or helpful. For why should they need them, since they have in their hearts the Holy Spirit, who teaches them and sees to it that they wrong no one, that they love everyone, and that they gladly suffer wrong and even death from everyone?…It is, therefore, impossible for the secular sword and law to find anything to do among Christians, since of their own accord they do much more than all its laws and doctrines can demand. This is exactly what Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:9: “The law is not made for righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient. (Treatise on Secular Authority).
Read Psalm 33:12—“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
As Americans, we need to be grateful to God for preserving among us the leaven of Christianity—the mighty acts of God that we know and believe, especially His sending Christ as Savior—which results in preserving among us:
- Liberty to worship Christ.
- The opportunity to tell the next generation the mighty works of God.
- A world in which to love and serve others.
- A nation which can continue to spread the news that God is yet gracious.
- A fragile freedom for the next generation.
We can use the blessings and freedoms God has granted us in the United States to worship God in spirit and truth, to support missions throughout the world, and to show Christian love to those around us.
Wayne Halvorson is co-pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, Minnesota.