Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sweet Freedom

Can you even imagine what it must be like to be Amanda Knox?  She was holed up in a jail cell in Italy for two years - accused of murdering her roommate.  She couldn't see her family, her friends, her home, her country - and there was a high probability that she would grow old before she experienced any of these simple joys in life again.  I wonder what she did when she got home that first day?  Did she fall on the ground and cling to the grass?  Did she lie in a field and watch the stars, absorbing the sweet freedom of wide open space?  Did she sit as close as humanly possible to her family and friends - drinking in the joy of human touch, breathing in forgotten smells and dancing to the music of voices she had longed to hear?  

It is not my intention to make a statement about the guilt or innocence of this young woman.  As far as I'm concerned, that is up to the court and not a matter of public opinion.  What I am interested in is the effect that freedom has on the human spirit.  And Amanda Knox has experienced that in a big way.

If you were to narrow all of scripture down to three main points - one of those points would have to be freedom.  There is a theme that runs throughout scripture that God's desire is to set people free.  It started in the garden, really.  God wanted Adam and Eve to enjoy the kind of freedom that isolated them from the knowledge of good and evil - the kind of freedom that let them run around naked like uninhibited toddlers.  But they didn't follow the rules...and they lost their freedom - binding themselves to sin.

God's heart broke for the Israelites, chained to slavery and violently oppressed.  God used Moses to set them free, but they took freedom to mean doing whatever they wanted and ignoring the boundaries God set for their freedom.  There's an interesting juxtaposition here, isn't there?  Freedom isn't the absence of rules.  In order to be free, we are invited to live within the boundaries of some basic guidelines for human behavior which can be boiled down to two simple things that Jesus taught:  Love God, Love Your Neighbor.  These are the boundaries for freedom.  

In Paul's letters, he talks about freedom a lot.  He reminds us that we used to be slaves to sin, and then Jesus came and cut those chains off of our hands and feet so we could move in the sweet freedom of God's love.  We have a chance at the dawn of each new day to live in that freedom.  It's like every day of our lives we draw the "get out of jail free" card.  When we step out of those boundaries of freedom, we feel and see the consequences in our own lives and in the world.  Those consequences look like war, abuse, hunger, broken relationships, broken hearts and broken lives. 

I guarantee you Amanda Knox will do everything in her power to stay within the boundaries of her own freedom.  When you have been bound like that and taste freedom again, you appreciate it like never before.  

What would it be like if we began each and every day with the mindset that we were just released from jail?  Wouldn't it be amazing to feel that freedom that enables us to live as new people every minute of every day?  What would it feel like to literally and intentionally soak in the god-given relationships and opportunities to share love that are presented to us as a result of this freedom?  If we start living, all of us, like we actually believe that we are free - it might just change the world.

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. - Romans 6:6-8

1 comment:

  1. You are such an eloquent writer, Pastor Kris! Thank you for sharing your wisdom filled thoughts!