Free indeed! (13-05-20)
A Bible Reading: John 8:31-36
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Last week we marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day, commemorating the beginning of freedom from the chains of World War Two. This week in England we have potentially seen the beginnings of our freedom from the chains of Covid-19. Two enemies to life and freedom, one visible, one invisible.
When Jesus offered his listeners freedom if they followed his teaching about the truth, they were indignant.. To them freedom meant not being slaves to another worldly power. Jesus, however, was not talking about freedom from visible, physical chains, but about freedom from invisible spiritual and emotional chains.
All of us in some way are shackled by the chains of sin, large or small; either done by us or done to us. We can be very good at hiding them, but their effects are there, and they are subconsciously holding us back every day. To all of us, Jesus is says ‘If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.’
For those in the essential services, as well as those working from home and home-schooling, lockdown has made life busier. For many others life has become much less busy. I wonder if, in the freedom from external busyness, we can identify the hidden chains that tie us down: the attitudes, habits, fears; the things in the past that make us a slave to sin?
Let us not be like those who argued with Jesus and later turned against him, instead let us hold on to his teaching and discover the truth that sets us free. Jesus came to bring freedom; spiritual, emotional and physical.
Thank you Jesus that you came to set me free. Forgive me for all the times I have wronged others as I forgive those who have wronged me. In the certain knowledge of your forgiveness, help me to walk in the freedom that you give.
Amazing grace; my chains are gone!