Gilland: July 4th and free lunch

Hot dogs with American flags

There is often a bit of truth anchored in even the most cliché sayings, and so it is with the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” 

This line was popularized in the 1960s and carries the notion that nothing is free, including that “free lunch.” Someone had to pay for it.

How true that is with the freedom we enjoy in America. We are a nation that is the “land of the free and home of the brave.” 

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But, just like that lunch, our freedoms were not free. They actually came at a very high cost, with some of those brave citizens paying the highest price—their very lives—to ensure our freedoms.

July 4th is a national holiday that celebrates America’s independence. It marks the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, a document that declared America’s freedom from British rule, making us free to govern ourselves, no longer living under the rule of the king of England. 

Some people have forgotten how much good came from that declaration—from the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II to winning the Cold War with Russa. The only way to maintain our freedom is with a steadfast vigilance and a willingness to defend what previous generations have fought to give us.

However, I have come to realize that the greatest freedom is not what happened in 1776, but what was purchased for us on a hill called Mt. Calvary. That’s where Jesus willingly went to the cross and paid for our ultimate freedom, dying for the sins that we have all committed, and reconciling us to God. 

Believers know and believe this for certain: Our freedom was not free. It cost Jesus the horrible experience of crucifixion and separation from His Father for those three long days.

This year, as we fire up those grills, cooking to perfection those hot dogs, and enjoying time with family, may we pause for a prayer of thanks for freedom. Especially the freedom won for us by Jesus. In the words of John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Happy 4th!

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