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." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31-36
I remember be present at a Richie Havens concert when he was playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival. He talked about being at Woodstock and how he was supposed to fill in some time as other musicians were late in arriving. He started to play ans the word freedom came to mind, so he sang it over and over. It became a beautiful anthem in challenging times. These too are challenging times when freedom is in question all over the world.
Jesus responds to the questions of the believers in the same way he responds to our questions. You are free indeed as a child of God. Whether we are the heirs of slavery or the heirs of free people, in Christ, we are the children of God and free from our birth. Only sin and evil can make slaves of us, but we can always chose to be free, and offer that freedom that love brings to others.
Today, as I begin my visit with the Episcopal clergy of Europe, I ask God to give me the strength to demonstrate free indeed, a life lived as a child of God. May we all live as God's children, not chained by our past or by our sins, but free to love as God would have us, all equal and all free.