This past week, being able to spend some time in God’s very own country, has felt like we have some of our freedom back!
Lockdown has curtailed much of what we have been able to do; who we can mix with; where we can visit and so on, so the opportunity to get out into the countryside, walk along a beach and actually go into a café/restaurant and enjoy the excellent North Eastern hospitality felt great!
And as the football season came to an end, a number of fans were fortunate to attend a match and the reaction was that of a sense of freedom! No longer just reliant on watching a game on TV!
Throughout history, freedom is an ideal that has captivated the human imagination. Men and women have fought for it, started revolutions for it, even died for it. Perhaps that’s why lockdowns are so difficult to put up with, and why it’s such a joy when restrictions finally start to be lifted.
In his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jnr. concludes the speech with these words; ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last”. King also quoted these same words when he addressed the US Congress in 1964.
When Nelson Mandella was released from Prison in February 1990, he also quoted these words. He makes further reference to the words in his autobiography, ‘Long walk to freedom’…..
Freedom is also the word Jesus uses to describe what it’s like to know him. The experience we enjoyed this week of having just a little more space to breathe is the merest inkling of the liberty that the creator of the universe holds out towards us. “If the Son sets you free,” he says in John 8:36, “you shall be free indeed.” It’s a message that never ceases to amaze me – that we can be free from guilt, free from everything depending on us, and free even from the tyranny of our own ‘wants’.
Knowing Jesus means you are truly, free indeed, and as Charles Wesley reminds us in his great hymn, ‘And can it be’….. ‘My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee’……
Enjoy the freedom Jesus gives you this week!