Today we celebrate Freedom Day… a day on which we remember the painful reality that it is human nature to deny and take away the freedom of others, and yet, it is also in our nature to fight and struggle for our freedom. We acknowledge how far we have come as a nation, and how far we still need to go. We confess that we stand idly by while there are many in our nation and our world who are not free – who are prisoners of poverty, of abuse, of violence, of fear and of hatred. We commit ourselves again to the fight against injustice and pray that God would help us continue and embody the work of Jesus who came to bring liberation to the captives (Luke 4:18).
Jesus said that if he frees us, we will be really free (John 8:36) and so, on this day when we celebrate freedom and remember what it cost to fight for freedom in our nation, we also remember the cost of the true freedom Jesus offers us. It is only in Him that we can be truly liberated – from fear, from condemnation, from shame, from oppression, from seeking value and fulfilment anywhere other than from Him. He set us free from the captivity of self, pride and law. He freed us from death. He invites us to live in His freedom – a freedom that cost Him His life – and to bring His emancipating Kingdom into our sphere of influence. He invites us to be agents of love and liberation in the world.
“For to be free is not merely to cast of one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela