The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God. (Isaiah 61:1-2 NIV84)
It seems as if every town has a festival of some sort. Often these festivals are made-up days geared to get visitors in town in order to drum-up some publicity for the town and some customers for the businesses. The festival in the town in which I grew up in, Seward Nebraska, is the fourth of July. When I grew up there Seward had less than 6,000 residents, but over 40,000 would come for the fourth of July; nowadays Seward has about 7,000 residents and over 50,000 people attend the annual celebration of our nation’s birth. Needless to say, the fourth of July was always a big deal—it was one of the highlights of every year; and I consider it the biggest and most important of our national secular holidays. Why? This answer is obvious: it is the birth of our nation, the day we celebrate our independence, our freedom from a tyrannical government.
This reminds me of the words of Isaiah above. Once, when Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth he read these words, said down and said, Today, these words are fulfilled in your hearing. Jesus testified that these words of Isaiah are talking about him!
He was anointed, or set apart for a special service to God, by the Holy Spirit. Among the things he was to do was to proclaim freedom for the captives. We were the captives. For all of us were born as captives to sin—unable to do anything pleasing to God and unable to do anything to rescue ourselves from our sinful condition and the eternal damnation that our sins deserve.
And yet, he proclaims our freedom—our freedom from sin.
The Fourth of July wouldn’t be celebrated in this country if the United State had not won the Revolutionary war. In the same way, we would not be free from sin, if Jesus had not won the battle for us. But he is able to proclaim our freedom because he is the one who won our freedom. By his perfect life, his suffering and death, and by his resurrection he defeated our enemies of sin, death, and the power of the devil. He won for us the ultimate victory and gave for our freedom.
Throughout his ministry he went through the land of Judea sharing this good news to poor human beings. He released us from the darkness of unbelief and from sin’s prison. He still proclaims this message through his Holy Word. Every time this gospel is read or shared by his children, the Lord is still fulfilling this words by pronouncing our independence from sin.
This Fourth of July, as we thank God for the many blessings of this great country, including the freedom we have to worship the Lord as we please, don’t forget to thank him for his greatest gift—the freedom from sin!
— Pastor Frey
We are currently in our Summer Schedule: Sunday worship at 8:00am and 10:00am. Monday worship at 6:30pm
We are planning to do a church pictorial directory this year. The dates for taking pictures are Tuesday through Saturday, August 14-18 and September 18-22. Weekday times are from 2:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturdays are from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The link to register and sign-up for a time is below. You will also be able to schedule a time before and after our worship services beginning July 8.
There are currently a number of sign-up sheets in the narthex for events coming up this summer. Next time you are on the premises, please check them out and sign-up!
- Bowling — August 12 from 4-7pm. At Village Lanes in Little Chute.
- VBS — July 30-Aug 3rd from 9:00-11:30am Sign up to volunteer or pick up a registration form to send your kids. Keep your eyes open on our website and Facebook page for an online registration. NEW: a sign-up sheet to bring snacks for VBS.
- Church Picnic — July 29th at noon at Plamann Park. Sign-up to volunteer to help set-up, etc. There is no need to sign-up if you plan on coming.