Pastor’s Pen: Real freedom requires a change of lifestyle

Rev Colin Hall-Thompson.
Rev Colin Hall-Thompson.

We all want ‘freedom’. It’s a real buzz word in politics, in social movements (e.g. ‘Flower Power’), economics (removal of trade tariffs, ‘Free Trade’), freedom from rules of parents, schools, ‘the establishment’. Oh yes, I have tried them all! Now we are implored either to be free of the EU i.e. Brexit (my personal choice), or free from nationalism.

However, none of these struggles / choices brings real freedom - freedom of heart and spirit, freedom to love, serve, and enjoy life. Important though it is to our growth and maturity that we seek to find our own way of expressing ourselves, no institution or movement can satisfy the longing for freedom from being hemmed in and caught up in the ‘rat race’.

Real freedom requires a change of lifestyle that only the grace of God can grant through recognition, admission and forgiveness of our human frailty, and the frustration and guilt replaced by the spirit of Jesus: “Because you are sons (and daughters), God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father” (Gal 4,6).

We move from being slaves to sin and guilt (or punishment) to feeling free, in sorrow and in joy, to be ourselves and express ourselves in and through the freedom Jesus had with his Father, God. It is the Holy Spirit living within us that allows us to be free from impulses, hang-ups, slave to tradition and inflexibility: So also, when we were children (spiritually immature child & adult) we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of God’s sons (and daughters).

Let us pray: “Father, You have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts, and called us to the glorious liberty of our children: Give us grace to use our freedom in your service, and in our lives to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.”

By Rev Colin Hall-Thompson