If you are planning a vacation for this summer, good luck. If the Memorial Day weekend is any indication, higher gas prices, crowded restaurants and limited lodging will have little influence on our desire to get away from things, if even for only a few days. So great is our hunger for freedom we haven’t experienced since the onset of COVID early last year. But where can real freedom be found? Parks and beaches offer but a temporary refuge from the madding crowds seen in so many places. Sooner or later we have to leave such places and return to more familiar settings of daily living. But the good news is that true freedom can be found in these settings as well.

Jesus was born into a world of people who have always hungered for freedom. It’s part of who we are, not only as U.S. citizens, but as human beings. We were created as and will always be among the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” But freedom that fully satisfies cannot be granted by legislation, military prowess, or even declarations from pulpits. Such freedom can only be found when we look beyond these things to the source of true freedom, the One who said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

How encouraging Jesus’ words must have been to those for whom politics and religious mandates had been little comfort. And how likewise encouraging they can be for people today who long for freedom that far exceeds church pronouncements or congressional action — the freedom which only Jesus can give.

So as we step away from Memorial Day and anticipate again celebrating our birth as a nation on the Fourth of July, may God help us to always remember that freedom came and always will come at a price, a price God was willing to pay when he gave us his Son through whose atoning death has made us free indeed.