Several weeks ago I observed on TV reports of “freedom day” in New South Wales. People were jumping (literally), business owners were crying, people going for a hair appointment were beaming, mums lugging children were so joyous in being able to go to the supermarket for grocery shopping and kids could play in the parks – what relief and joy! The segment that really hit home was people being able to visit friends and relatives in aged care homes. The anticipation of those in homes and of those going to visit was beautifully and graphically shown, it was real and brought a tear to my eyes, and displayed so much of what is an important part of our lives that has been missed for many months. What’s that saying: we don’t know what we’ve got until we haven’t? Freedom … you beauty!
Someone once asked me why are there so many different denominations; why do I believe what I do? Being in a situation where we were discussing regulations, procedures, protocol, individuals’ rights, and care-giving – for a few seconds I thought I could let that slide and go through to the keeper, – but no I was being challenged and somehow, I blurted out, “Because I’m free.” After a little more discussion, I was able to say – and lately going through Corinthians, Ephesians, James and beginning into Hebrews – that I am really completely free because of what Christ has done for me!
Yes, Christ won that for me and it’s free. I’ve not had to (or been able to) do it myself and what a joy it is! Just as my chest swelled with emotion on seeing loved ones reunited in the TV reports, it seems as though my chest will burst with the freedom Christ gives, not just back then but every day in all parts of my life, now. It’s almost like I can’t help myself; I’ve got to share that freedom with anyone and everyone. This freedom is so great that I am free to have and give forgiveness, I am even free to make mistakes but at the same time ‘get on with it.’ Nothing can separate us from such freedom of love.
I struggle with thoughts about how God is hated by many people, and why does God not repair all the wrong in the world, and why aren’t the ‘baddies’ locked up – people say these things not really as questions but statements of their position. We don’t need to debate because we are free to make a difference, and God wants that freedom for everybody. We can’t go to the shop and buy it, we don’t have to rack up so many points and trade them for it … it’s free! We don’t have to wait for legislation or a directive from a committee, let’s just do it … share the freedom Jesus Christ has won for us!
Milton Eckermann is a member of Good News congregation, Middle Park, as well as the Lutheran Drought Aid Queensland team of volunteers. One of Milton’s many interesting vocational experiences was as director of Lutheran Community Care (now Lutheran Services) during its early years.
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