400 years ago today, the parishioners of the Separatist Church of England set foot on land near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Since November 11, they had been anchored off the new frontier awaiting word from search parties for a safe place to disembark. Months earlier they had fled the persecution of the Church of England. They had through the grace of God survived the tumultuous trip from Plymouth England to this strange new world.
155 Years ago today, Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States. This new amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery ensuring that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” 246 years after the first shipload of captive Africans landed at Jamestown, Virginia. Many Americans died on both sides of this issue but freedom was victorious in this battle.
Approximately 2,024 years ago in the little town of Bethlehem, a child was born that would change the world. A bright "star" shown above Bethlehem to declare that God loves us and has offered a way to redemption through His Son. A baby born in a manger wrapped with the cloth that dead people are wrapped in. This event in history above these other two is celebrated every year around this time. Songs were written and still sung today about the the little Lord Jesus.
God's manifestation of Himself on our little planet was in response to our bondage. Much like our African brothers and sisters and the passengers of the Mayflower, we were enslaved here on planet Earth. A bondage not to men or religious institutions but to sin itself. The wages of sin is death the good book says so in order to live and live abundantly, we must escape the shackles of sin. With man this is impossible but God is gracious and kind.
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:18
A slave to righteousness is not a burden or imprisonment. It is one of freedom and light. One of love, wisdom and truth. Truth is the key that unlocks the chains that weigh us down.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
God has made a way for us to understand freedom. Through His Word and sacrifice of His Son, He has made a way for us to navigate the treacherous waters of sin and the burdens imposed on us in this "Me first" world. We must press on and seek the truth that God laid out so many years ago. A pathway to freedom and light that allows us to break free of the prisons this world tries to impose on us. We are the sons and daughters of light and we must let our light shine so that others may see it as well.
Harriet Tubman helped free the slaves of the south, Myles Standish made the Mayflower landing and settlement successful and Jesus through His blood offers prosperity to those who seek Him with their whole heart. We are disciples of freedom.
I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16
Jesus overcame and so can we. We can be free.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
He is in us as long as we invite Him in and just like the Angel that freed Peter, He will free us from sin and death. Amen?
Yes He will and He does so every day. Let today be that day you welcome Him into your prison cell and set you Free!!