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Happy 4th of July!  It is a wonderful time to celebrate the freedom of our country.  Despite the problems of the pandemic and the struggles we are having as a nation, we are free!  Yet, in some ways we are more confused than ever about freedom and what it means for our lives.  We begin a new sermon series, “Liberty and Justice for All.”  This simple phrase is not only part of the Pledge of Allegiance, but it also is one of the grand and enduring American ideas.  This has not been fully realized, but it is a worthy and admirable goal.   The freedom of America and humanity begins with God’s desire to set all of humanity free.  God’s freedom can truly fulfill the statement of “liberty and justice for all” and all human freedom points us to the basic reality for God’s desire to set us free.  We begin this series with “Free for a Purpose” and Exodus 6:5-13.  Moses has told Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go free. Instead, Pharaoh only increases their workload!  They are so discouraged.  Yet God tells them that there is a deeper purpose at work in their lives which will begin a process of freedom for them and all of humanity!  As you read Exodus 6:5-13, may the chains of fear and uncertainty be broken by the power of God’s presence!  Exodus 6:5-13: Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’” 9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. 10 Then the LORD said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.” 12 But Moses said to the LORD, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” 13 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. (NIV)