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 Berlin Wall piece at Reagan Library, May 2024

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19

 Walking through the Berlin Wall exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum was a profound experience. People from all around the globe gathered to witness artifacts from the wall of oppression in East Berlin. Many tears fell, countless photos were taken, and lively conversations in multiple languages processed the before and after of freedom. The Star Wars (U.S. Space Force) exhibit follows which leads to this piece of the wall that dreams of “Freedom” tagged below the butterfly. The dream came true, and it now stands tall set against an open expanse of California landscape and sky as a visual reminder of Ronald Reagan’s prophetic words in June 1987, “This wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom. Freedom is powerful.

This July 4 weekend we celebrate our precious freedom in the U.S. Freedom is not free. The price of our freedom is built on the immeasurable sacrifice of all who served and serve to deliver us from oppression. This is true of Christian freedom. The price is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection. His transformation creates faith and shares the truth of his love for all people. Jesus declares his mission statement citing the prophet Isaiah’s promise of deliverance. Jesus’ mission frees us to love God and our neighbors. The butterfly is a symbol of our transformation as Christ-followers who are freed to love and live in faith. Freedom is beautiful.

We have all the freedom in the world to share the good news of faith, hope, and love to free others from the oppression of despair and hate. Hate cannot withstand this kind of freedom. May the Spirit guide us to use our gifts of freedom to trust God, share hope, and uplift our neighbors. Freedom is love.

May the 4th be with you, Pastor Andrea