Two years from now in November / December 2020 will be the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Compact and the Pilgrim Settlement in Plymouth. Among the passengers and crew was Digory (Degory) Priest a husband and father. He came to looking for a better place for his family, whom he left behind to follow him after he settled in. Digory would die the next year in 1621. His family, including his daughter, Marah (Mary) arrived in 1622. Mary wed Phineas Pratt. This makes Digory Priest my Ninth-Great Grandfather. The same line of my family tree includes Capt. Oliver Brown of the Massachusetts Artillery, Revolutionary Army.
These people are on my mind this week as our nation celebrates 242 years of our Declaration of Independence. People yearn for freedom. This experiment called the United States continues (even with our set-backs and failures of the past and present) to be a beacon of liberty in the world.
John Adams would write on June 23, 1813 to Thomas Jefferson, “The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty…“*
These men who sought and fought for liberty did so from a basic belief in the liberty of man as created and forgiven by God. As we recall the sacrifice of those who established our nation we also need to recall what God says about TRUE LIBERTY:
- “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
- “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
- “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23)
- “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
- “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
- “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)
Find true freedom in Christ!