“Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves,” I say aloud with my worshiping community. We can’t pick this lock. Our freedom comes with a Christ-shaped key.
Even though I know this, I’ve often tried to fix a problem by changing something – a mistake that sticks out as the cause, one element that perhaps might change the course of action. It’s tempting to pin a problematic situation on this or that misplaced word, action, or moment.
But this goes against everything we confess when we gather to worship God! We confess that we are not suffering from a single, temporary mistake, or even a series of mistakes that we can control. We are living in captivity – in bondage – to sin and can not free ourselves. Captivity is systemic. When something is systemic, we can’t liberate ourselves. God’s love and justice free us, giving us room and permission to delight in the gifts of vulnerability, authenticity, service, and God’s unconditional love.
This message is excerpted from “Just freedom” by Elizabeth Hunter in the June 2021 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate John the Baptist.
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