Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Truth Will Make You Free

Again Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come." Then the Jews said, "Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?" He said to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he." They said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him." They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him." As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:21-32

One of my favorite movies is a 1950s version of a Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sims. The character of Jacob Marley is wrapped in a profound amount of chains which rattle and terrorize as he speaks to Scrooge. He tells of the links of the chains being forged in greed, selfishness and dishonesty, a life lived in service of self alone. Some of us have chains we have forged, or which have been forged for us. Pain, hurt, resentment and failure can make their own chains for us.Binds that keep us from knowing forgiveness and being forgiven. When ever I hear of Jesus promise to be set free, I wonder what chains I have forged, and what I need to let go.

Jesus desires for the folks around him to understand the intimate relationship he has with God. He wants us to understand that their are behaviors and things in our lives that can hold us back from the love of God. The truth is the love of God is available for all, we cannot earn it because it is freely given and we cannot keep it for ourselves. God invites us to embrace the love we have been given, putting aside the need to control and exclude others. We are freed by the love of God and only we can forge new chains and new bindings in our selfishness and isolation.

Today I ask God to help me set aside all those things that might keep me from God's love. May we recognize God's desire for us today, braking down all the things that keep us from loving and caring for others.

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