On a day of remembering those who have served others sacrificially, we take pause to also recognize what freedom is, and what it compels. How freedom transforms the minuscule patterns of life, as well as the over-arching “way” that things occur. Both action and nature become something entirely different.
When the Israelites were freed from their Egyptian captivity. The could walk away, following a new leader. There was hope, and something they’d believed in a long time was being fulfilled. Yet they soon found themselves falling right back into many of the patterns of a life in slavery. In need of the predictable routine, even when that routine was killing them individually, and as a people.
When they were freed from their period of exile to Babylon, some great things began to happen as they were allowed to rebuild the temple (even though that itself took some prophetic encouragement). But as we see in the world Christ was born into, they’d once again allowed other influences into how they functioned as the chosen people of God.
In both major cases, we see an entire people experiencing bondage and control for a long period of time, the celebration of their freedom, and finally the plateau and fall of their excitement about freedom to the point where they find new realms of bondage and captivity to place themselves in.
Here we are. Both as free citizens of the United States of America, and as free citizens of the Kingdom of God.
When we declared our freedom as the original 13 colonies, we were shedding the rule of an outside influence. We were making a very important statement about the inherent rights of all human beings, and our lives immediately began to celebrate and live by those rights existence.
And so here we are, slaves to culture. A-mused by entertainment. Planning for our own current and future financial health at the expense of those under our feet. Disregarding the rights of “all humanity” and recognizing the rights of “humanity that meets our expectations”.
When Jesus was crucified and resurrected, He inaugurated a new way of life. A New way of existing. Freedom from the previous existence. The Spirit of Truth came, and revealed the powers, systems, and brokenness of this world as empty. Established a Kingdom where Heaven and Earth were being joined together, and invited us to continue His work and experience His Life.
And so here we are, bearing burdens of temptation. Broken relationships, bad habits, and living according to the value systems of the world. Hype, sales pitches, flashy images, and “being trendy” fill finance & strategy meetings of churches with so much financial stability they’re in the news regularly for how many incredible things they do….which usually means more about an exchange of goods and services, and less about what the Holy Spirit is accomplishing. church growth trumps Church health.
We find ourselves in need of experiencing freedom again. An experience made New. A refreshed existence of celebrating freedom as if tasting it for the first time. In a way that transforms not only action, but our very nature. We search for the face of our captors, and recognize them as if gazing into a mirror. We repent.
Lord, make us free once more. Free us wholly, and forever.