"If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed," Jesus promises those who continue in his word. Freedom! Who is ever free? I seem never to be quite free of worry or fear or self. On Sunday morning I even lay my cards on the table: "I confess that I am captive to sin. I have sinned against you, merciful father, in thought, word and deed." "Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Honest words, these words of confession and petition that we share with the apostle Paul. But these are words of hope, not despair, for there is more to say. "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" For we are set free every day, free for our neighbors and the world. In this freedom we learn to trust that we are in God's hands, the best of hands, free at last truly to live.
Empower us, merciful father, to make the most of our freedom in Christ Jesus, so that we may love you with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.
John 8:31-36 (NRSV)
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
33 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'?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.
36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.