THE PARISH REGISTER
St. Andrew's-Cheney Memorial Church
July 2002
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Living Free

Every 4th of Judy we Americans engage in a celebration of freedom that is unrivaled in the history of nations. The liberty we have as citizens of this great country is truly precious and deserves celebrating.

But there is a greater freedom than this as we learn from the Scriptures. St. Peter writing to the early church said, “Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.” (I Peter 2:16)

Bear in mind that the Christians St. Peter was writing to did not have civil liberty as we know it. Rome was not a free state and many of the believers were slaves. So how could St. Peter tell them to “Live as free men ....” when they did not have political freedom?

The freedom St. Peter spoke of implies a prior bondage. In speaking of Christ St. John wrote, “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood ....” ( Rev. 1:5b) In a similar fashion St. Paul wrote, “We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is free from sin.” (Ro. 6:6,7) The Christian concept of freedom is only understood in the context of us having been set free from slavery to sin and its consequences. It is Christ who has set us free by His work as our Savior.

Therefore, as Christians we are to live as free men and women. Our freedom is not dependent upon external circumstances. Most of the Christians to whom St. Peter wrote were not free citizens of the Roman Empire. Yet they were the most free people in the world; the only truly free people. Today a Christian living in Communist China is freer than a non-Christian in America. This is so because the greatest freedom is spiritual and not political, for the greatest bondage is spiritual. Political bondage is temporary, but spiritual bondage may be eternal.

One of the great secrets of living the Christian life to its fullest is in applying objective truth to daily life. It is an objective fact that Christ has set the believer free. It is not enough, however, to acknowledge our freedom theoretically, we must live as free men and women. Matthew Henry the outstanding Puritan Bible scholar put it this way, “All the servants of Christ are free from Satan’s dominion, the law’s condemnation, the wrath of God, the uneasiness of duty, and the terrors of death.”

St. Peter strongly emphasizes the freedom of the Christian, but he is also keenly aware that whenever there is freedom there is always the possibility of the abuse of that freedom. This happens when we start feeling that since we are saved by grace and not by works we can be slack in our works of righteousness. We say to ourselves that we don’t need to be careful to evade sin because the Lord will forgive. In confronting such a perversion of our freedom St. Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Ro. 6:1,2). If we consistently yield to sin we lose our freedom and slip back under bondage. St. Paul in the chapter just sited went on to say, “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Ro. 6:15,16) Even the Stoic philosopher Seneca was wise enough to say, “No one is free who is a slave to his body.”

Christian freedom is not the freedom to do as we please. It is not license. We have been set free from sin and guilt and have the freedom to live for God our rightful sovereign. Here we have the true bounds and nature of freedom. The greatest freedom is found in being a servant of God. In Christ we are free to become truly human, to experience what God originally intended for the human race.

by Rev. F. M. Levi

Parish News

Rev. & Mrs. Levi are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter Elisabeth to Mr. William Garrison. Their wedding is scheduled for March 29, 2003. Will is a police officer in Country Club Hills, IL and Beth is a nurse at Elmhurst Hospital, Elmhurst, IL.

The ladies of the Woman’s Guild sponsored a Father/Son Breakfast Saturday, May 18, 2002. The breakfast was delicious and everyone had an enjoyable time.

The Annual Rummage Sale sponsored by the Woman’s Guild took place on Saturday, June 1, 2002. Thank you to all who helped by contributing sale items or working at the sale.

In Memory

Mary E. Fulk (68) went to be with the Lord on May 21, 2002. Mary is survived by her husband Bob; daughters Lois & Robin and their husbands, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Bob & Mary were the first people from the community to join St. Andrew’s following the relocation to Tinley Park in 1990. Our deepest sympathies and sincerest prayers are with Bob and the entire family. Mary will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Happy Birthday!

July 7 - Gladys Muir
July 11 - Fran Chessman
July 11 - Vicky Elliott-Cullen
July 21 - Sue Horosinski
July 21 - Brian Ardizzone
July 25 - Veronica Elliott-Harrison

Missionary of The Month

Rev. & Mrs. William Jerdan (Diane) and their children Stephanie, Daniel, Benjamin, Jonathan. Montpellier, France..

Domestic Missions

Keep in your prayers the work of the Board of National Church Extension (B.N.C.E.), the Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote, President; Mrs. Joan Workowski, Treasurer.

I am Old Glory

I am Old Glory: For more than nine score years I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born amid the first flames of America’s fight for freedom, I am a symbol of a country that has grown from a little group of thirteen colonies to a united nation of fifty sovereign states. Planted firmly on the high pinnacle of American Faith my gently fluttering folds have proved an inspiration to untold millions. Men have followed me into battle with unwavering courage. They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity. They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to enjoy the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which have been granted to every American as the heritage of free men. So long as men love liberty more than life itself; so long as they treasure the priceless priviledges bought with the blood of our forefathers; so long as the principles of truth, justice and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States of America.

Written by Marine Master Sergeant Percy Webb (1879-1945).


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