In the fourth verse of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” are these words: “In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me. As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, His truth is marching on.”The hymn is referring to a war, but the reference to Jesus puts freedom in another context. The freedom Jesus brings is a freedom from habits and addictions that plague us as people and as a society and culture. We seem to believe that there are people who should not enjoy the benefits of our communities, that they are worthless. But Jesus saw all people worthy of care. In these difficult times, let us follow the example of Jesus and free people from the hopelessness of tomorrow. • Bill McCord is a retired United Methodist minister.
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