New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 9

 Helen Keller’s vision 90 years ago, and just as it was when Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to His disciples – and to all of us – to go out and “teach all nations.” The calling – to the Church, to our congregations, and to each of us – is not really daunting. It does not ask too much of us – just to love the Lord and bring the promise and beauty of heaven into the world by modeling it in our lives. That is how we help the Lord bring the light of heaven into the lives of others. And the Lord actually tells us that He needs our help: "God loves each and every human being, and because He cannot do good to them directly but only indirectly by means of other people, He therefore breathes into people His love." (True Christian Religion 457) That is how we really make a difference in the world – simply by helping the Lord . And that is how we live the prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon the earth.” (BMH) liberty Liberty is essential to human life. The spiritual faculties of liberty and rationality we have from our Creator distinguish us from all other creatures and make us human. From the free spirit within us we have an innate desire to express our inner, spiritual freedom on the natural plane of life. Spiritual liberty needs civil liberty as a soul needs a body through which to express itself and accomplish its ends. Free will and free thought demand the right to act and speak freely. Lack of political freedom is frustrating and intolerable not only naturally but spiritually. A free society is the most vital and happy earthly condition for people to live in because it corresponds to the spiritual freedom of the heaven they were born for. But like heaven itself, freedom does not come to us naturally or easily in our fallen human condition. It is hard-won and ever-fragile in this world. The natural part of our being, although created from the spiritual and for the purpose of serving it, resists being ordered by the spiritual. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) The birth of political freedom on earth, therefore, was the culmination of a long and laborious process, and preserving it has been a constant struggle. No matter how firmly it might seem to be established for a time, our grip on it is tenuous. The very rights inspired by heavenly truths can easily be subverted and put to the service of hell. And rights which are abused are destined to be lost. For instance, the right of free speech, having been perverted to justify 185