Across the Pastor’s Desk: Faith impacts those around us
Published 7:11 pm Friday, April 7, 2023
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Ryan Quigley
A definitive occurrence in any society and in anyone’s life is the moment when freedom is won. When liberty reigns. Liberty is such a large occasion that culture is defined by it.
Personal lives are impacted by it for generations. When liberty is truly experienced it becomes something that we want to defend and share.
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On the one hand this is what helps define us as Americans, having achieved our liberty through wars. Living under the covering of an overbearing ruler can seem to have its benefits. However, those benefits come with a great cost. Because while it may seem like we have all we need, the reality is our lives are not our own. Underneath all the veneer of that kind of living, we belong to the will of the state and not to our own. Therefore our forefathers saw the need to make sacrifices in order that generations may live freely. This is something that we celebrate every Independence Day, on the Fourth of July! We look to our history, our story as a nation. The parades go through the townships, the fireworks are lit and the barbeques are fired up. Why? Because we want to celebrate our freedom!
The most amazing thing about liberty is found within the other hand. A definition that is meant for more than just the American population. It is meant for the world. In spring of every year, a certain holiday rolls around. To some it is just an excuse to buy more candy and pastel colored things, filling our homes with bunnies, chicks and eggs.
However, Easter or Resurrection Day is so much more than what we can acquire at the marketplaces. It is more than the crescendo of the events of Lent. It is more than anything any person can comprehend, for it is in the Easter/Resurrection Day celebration that many consider the amazing work that Jesus Christ did for all mankind. It is on this day that we remember that Jesus, who was hung on a cross and died, rose to life again, leaving both the cross and the grave empty. The Bible says that before the cross all people are slaves to sin.
The term “sin” is originally an archery term, meaning to miss the target. Because we — all people — miss the mark when it comes to life, we are enslaved to its outcome. However, just like the conflict needed to set us free civilly, there had to be blood shed to set us free from this enslavement to sin. In Romans 3:23, we are told, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
And in Romans 6:23, we see, “for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
What is more, the Bible also tells us that God demonstrated his love for us by sending his only son to die for us.
Christ could have stayed in the grave and convinced all that he was still just a man. However, he didn’t stay in the grave. He rose to life again and showed himself to over 500 people. By rising from the grave he revealed his life and liberating power over sin and the grave to all people. This is the beauty of this Easter/Resurrection holiday. The Bible says in Romans 5:1, “therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
A living faith that impacts not just our own lives, but also those around us, starts with Jesus Christ and the liberty that only his sacrifice and resurrection bring. If you are wanting to know more about this life of faith and wanting what the author in Romans calls peace with God, come to church, find someone who has a living faith and ask them what it means.
They will be more than glad to tell you.
Let us all celebrate and remember our freedom we have in Christ Jesus as we celebrate the holiday this week.
Ryan Quigley is senior pastor of Albert Lea Assembly of God.