There is a slogan written on several billboards and clothing items and often heard in editorials or on social media that says, “Freedom Isn’t Free.” While we can agree that it takes sacrifice to obtain and preserve freedom, we can look at freedom from a different perspective. While freedom is often purchased at a high cost, it is typically freely given.
We have used the term “front-line hero” to refer to our military men and women serving in times of war and Law Enforcement and Fire Departments responding to dangerous national, state, and local emergencies. They purchased freedom with extreme sacrifice, sometimes with their very lives, and freely gave the benefit of their sacrifice to a grateful nation.
And now, during a lengthy battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the heroism of our nurses and other healthcare professionals who collectively worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fight this deadly virus. During these past 18 months this group of people also sacrificed, sometimes with their very lives, and freely gave the benefit of their sacrifice to local communities and a grateful nation. In every sense, they served our nation as front-line heroes.
We are now beginning to return to normal activities, but as Christians, our work is not done because freedom from earthly troubles is not our end goal. While we can and should continue to comfort and care for those still afflicted and affected by this current pandemic, and we can absolutely celebrate restored freedoms with others who have been restricted for so long, our message must be that God has always been in control working for our eternal benefit. He clearly tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
That plan has been manifested and completed singlehandedly through Jesus Christ, the very first name on our list of front-line heroes. He came down from his heavenly throne, lived a perfect life for us, and sacrificed himself by enduring death on a cross in our place; all this while we were still sinners. Christ’s precious, innocent blood was indeed a high cost, and the benefit was the most important freedom of all: freedom from sin and death. The result is eternal life, which Christ gives to us freely because of his immeasurable love for us.
We are called to be a light in a sinful world. May God bless our efforts to speak for Jesus as we proclaim good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recover sight for the blind, and set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18).
Mr. Frank Penha serves as the Chairman of the WELS Health and Wellness Special Ministries Committee which oversees the WELS Parish Nursing Program.
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