Podcast Transcript: To Listen to the full episode click HERE
Not too long ago, my family and I had the privilege to visit the Statue of Liberty as part of our New York vacation. And while I thoroughly enjoyed our whole experience in New York, I was most surprised by how convicted I became by the mere concept of freedom itself while touring this iconic American landmark.
You see at almost 40 years of age it was my first time seeing it in person
The symbolism in the statue is unmistakable.
She holds a torch above her head, and in her left arm carries a tablet inscribed in Roman numerals with July 4, 1776 the date of our Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet.
She represents the purpose and destiny of the United States of America – to be a land of freedom for the oppressed and a beacon of light shining freedom around the world.
Freedom of conscience. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech. Freedom to dream big.
Despite all her flaws we still live in the freest, most successful, most influential nation that has ever existed in the history of the world.
Now in order to get to Liberty Island (where the statue is located) we had to take a ferry whose first stop was to Ellis Island. Ellis Island was the gateway to US citizenship for over 12 million immigrants looking for freedom and opportunity in the land of liberty at the turn of the 20th century soon after the statue had been built.
My great grandparents were among those 12 million.
And so, as I was there I was trying to imagine what it must have felt like for them after their long voyage from Scandinavia across the Atlantic Ocean to enter the NY harbor and to see the Statue of Liberty for the first time.
For them it wasn’t a vacation tour stop. it was the gateway to freedom.
Could there be another gateway to freedom that many of us have taken for granted?
Not a colossal standing tall in the NY Harbor, but rather a day inconspicuously waiting for us at the end of our weekly calendar.
Could the seventh-day Sabbath in fact symbolize greater freedom than a nation can provide its citizens?
More than a day of rest, could the seventh-day also be a promise of freedom for the soul?
In this episode – I had the privilege to explore these questions and more with veteran evangelist and church planter Roger Hernandez who currently serves as the Ministerial and Evangelism Director for the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is the author of 14 books – including his most recent one entitled the “The Pain of Planting a Church.”
Roger also shares some leadership nuggets and part of his own story as a young pastor.
I hope you are enriched by our discussion as much as I was.