When I was growing up in Massachusetts, I frequently went with various family members to visit the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge. It was our “go-to” place to take out of town guests. My favorite room was one which was unusual because the exhibit never changed – it was the room which displayed Rockwell’s depiction of the Four Freedoms.
The paintings – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear – illustrate what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said are four basic human rights which ought to be universally protected. These four freedoms were later incorporated into the United Nations charter.
4th of July
On this Fourth of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence and give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, it is a good time to look back at these four freedoms. Where is freedom of speech at risk? Where are people persecuted for practicing their faith? Where are people going without having basic needs met? Where do people live every day in fear?
In his 1520 writing about the freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther said,
A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.
A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant, subject to all.
Because of the love of Christ, we are freed from wondering about our salvation – we are lords of all. Because of the love of Christ, we are freed to serve others – we are servants of all.