Leviticus 25:10 “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to officiate the promotion ceremony of a friend and colleague to the rank of Colonel. The venue for the ceremony was spectacular – in front of the Liberty Bell and overlooking Independence Hall. It was the perfect location to reflect upon service and sacrifice.
What we now know as the Liberty Bell was commissioned by the legislature of the colony of Pennsylvania. It arrived in Philadelphia in August 1752, destined for the bell tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall). Yet, the bell had an inauspicious start; its rim cracked shortly after arrival. Following its recasting to resolve this problem, the sound was deemed unsatisfactory and it was recast a second time. Only then, a year after its initial arrival, did it make its way to its home above the meeting place of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. These early problems with the bell’s structure foreshadowed its eventual iconic crack originating in the early 19th Century.
The inscription around the top of the bell comes from Leviticus 25:10 – “PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANS THEREOF”. The bell, like this nation, reminds us that this proclamation is not possible in our own strength. Like the bell, we have our own structural shortcomings and our tone is at times unsatisfactory. Instead of recasting ourselves, however, we need to cast ourselves at the feet of the source of all liberty. Only then can we proclaim and demonstrate liberty by our words and our actions. Only then can we ring true as a nation that embraces God’s freely offered strength and the blessings contained therein.
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR NATION WOULD ONCE AGAIN RING ALOUD WITH THE SOUND OF GOD-GIVEN LIBERTY. We are a nation that, from its foundation, has contained fissures and fractures. Yet, these have not prevented us from proclaiming liberty because we have been held together by the One whose liberty proclamations are unbreakable. To Him, we must hold firm.