Sandra and I are coming to the end of our autumn/spring period in South Africa, it depends of which side of the equator you live, with a day of national rest hitting Cape Town. The traffic filling the roads system as the rain came down we even had a lightning show, winters knocking. As people begin to enjoy another public holiday in South Africa. This one is a celebration of 18 years of “Freedom” (2012), when a political system and all it contain ended. The news and media are full of reports and comments along with interviews and reminders that “we are a young nation”, with facts and figures such as 60% of all South Africans are below the age of 35 a literally young nation. Celebrations, brai’s (South African / Zimbabwean slang for a barbecue), family get together, last trips before winter seem to be the order of this Freedom Day, yet freedom still eludes all humanity. Sometimes it comes but then it’s so fleeting, how can we enter into a freedom way of life and it becomes sustainable never fleeting? We are told if we do this, spend that, take on a certain products, make change such as…, use this or that, visit here, travel there, go to this event or meeting freedom will follow or so the promise is there but it only comes up empty. The promise is cut short it seems. Yet the promise of freedom through another, the Christ of God, is there which is not empty at all, it means a different way of life and more difficult probably it requires a paradigm change a of though, which means my history has to be re arranged my education has to be renewed to enable this liberty and sustaining it.
Through life you meet people or hear of people’s’ lives that touch you deep inside their lives words and actions transforming your thinking and propel you into the future believing, affirmed and ready to tackle what ever mountain that comes your way. These events have a peculiar resonance, a definite way of lifting each one of us. I wonder where these people and events are in your story to date? Not only that, where did you meet these people? In person, through reading about them or in Hollywood’s remake of their lives, where ever and through who ever I am thankful we can meet these people and events in our lives, where would life be without them?
Let tell of one Hollywood scene, I know a dear friend that gets empowered and transformed to the mountain top in his passion, he really is a passionate type in any case, as he watches the many times he has seen the man lying on a cold stone table in a Hollywood remake of William Wallace’s life, as Wallace comes to the end of his life at this closing scene he cries out with a heart wrenching “Freedom“, a cry that sends your own spirit soaring and longing for FREEDOM.
I recently listened to Mother Teresa in her acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace prize in 1979, outlining her humble privilege of life as she shone with humility “…the joy of spreading peace, loving one another, that the poor are our brothers and sisters… I chose the poverty of the poor people I receive it in the name of the unwanted of our world…in their name I accept the award…understanding that loving the poor and seeing that death is nothing but going home to God…” clearly a woman of great character who had found her own life’s liberty and brought freedom to others passionately outlines her passion for the poor of our world. One person she helped said that he had lived on the streets in filth all his life but now he would die as and with angels. LIBERTY.
Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968 a day before he was assassinated made one of his fine and moving speeches in which he declared prophetically of his own future “… I have been to the mountain top…I would like to live a long life-like us all but that does not concern me now…I just want to God’s will…I have seen the promised land, I may not get there with you…I am not fearful of any man for I have seen the glory if the Lord…” he had encountered FREEDOM and felt its LIBERTY clearly that had released him.
Paul captures the same sense of freedom, liberty, when he addresses the Galatian church, I believe we read it and often miss the relevance of what is being spoken, it was penned to produce that same impact as the heart wrenching shout of Freedom from Hollywood in Braveheart, or the moving testimonies of the lives mentioned earlier, who are so free they gave up all to pursue that which was pursuing them. Paul wrote it so we to would cry FREEDOM while living life. I wish we could feel the rush of the words transforming as I read it, departing from our heads and the whole person catching this soul moving, spirit rising “…it’s for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again to a yoke of slavery…” Do you feel it surge through your fingers, life into you, feel it so strongly, like plugging my fingers into an electric socket I would surely feel it. FREEDOM! This Gospel we proclaim the gospel that came to us, and discovered us, this gospel of freedom is not to become religious mantra with patterns and formula, but must bring constant liberty to our lives.
Galatians 5:1 The Life of Freedom
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
This freedom is a clear central theme of our message, the message of the scriptures and the Kingdom; each of us should grasp this freedom and nail ourselves to it. We have a message of liberty and freedom. wherever the message of Christ is uttered, it should be noted that liberty is produced, and freedom is released.
The message of the Christ is to bring freedom to us let us this week discover freedom living and empower others to be free. FREEDOM consider and look to see how we can participate, enjoy and live with it!