Spirit of Freedom

Spirit of Freedom

Pentecost 2

The human spirit is fairly simple in its design and in its living. While there are myriads of complex systems within the body that houses the spirit, history has proven that our basic core desires are the same regardless of the location, period, or economic factors of the person.

Perhaps that is why the mythologies of antiquity hold our attention. They unite us in asking and providing answers to the basic questions mankind has always had. Paramount are the common threads that weave the lives of us all into the history of the world. The struggles and the victories repeat throughout time just as the fables and stories are repeated in different colors with different and yet the same basic stories.

The stories of our histories are not just myths, tales with a shred of truth that have been elaborated and exaggerated. Some are painfully honest and bear witness to the conflicts life presents. Today in the United States of America many will pause to pay homage to those who died fighting for others. Just as the spirit of Pentecost came for all, so the victory of freedom for one becomes a victory for many.

The American philosophy about basic freedom being for all was eloquently presented by Thomas Jefferson: “To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement.” Thirteen colonies dared to risk everything for the spirit of freedom which was the spirit of human dignity. They dared to engage one of the world’s most powerful nations for this cause, knowing that the struggle was worth everything for without such freedoms and dignity, life would be worthless.

I realize that some of you will be reading this in countries without such freedoms. You still have your heroes, though; you have in your own history those who have fought for your rights. Today as we in the USA honor our own heroes who have passed, I hope you will honor your own. “While there’s nothing one of us can do to bring back those loved ones, we can celebrate who they were, how they lived their lives, and remember how their lives were lost, in a struggle dedicated to the eternal truth of freedom and the human spirit,” stated former US Statesman Donald Rumsfeld.

We look very different; we speak very differently; we even eat different foods. We all still live and in our living, share basic needs and desires. Whether one’s hair is blonde or black, one’s skin is yellow or brown, one’s height is tall or short….We all feel and strive to improve. Kahlil Gibran once said “Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.”

Today I invite you to tell the stories of your own heroes. Tomorrow we will jump into the stories of the Ice Age and the heroes and gods of which they speak. As Joseph Campbell described, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Today, as we honor those who have died, let us live by telling their stories.

Pull up a comfortable stool or chair and gather a few friends or family. Today is for remembering our past and recognizing that it is the road on which we will walk our future. We owe so much to those who have come before us. Their sacrifices, their struggles, and their examples are all glorious lessons from which we can learn and be proud.

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