Slavery that brings freedom

If I asked you to create a picture of freedom, then what would you draw?

Maybe you might paint a prison door opening, or the shackles of a slave being released?

Or perhaps you might draw a picture of a person running down an endless beach, or someone standing at the edge of a giant canyon with arms raised high?

Some businesses try to use the idea of freedom to convince us to book a holiday, or apply for a loan, or purchase a car, or gamble in a lottery… even though these things often end up enslaving us.

The Bible tells us how we can become truly free… and the method is surprising.

It’s summed up beautifully in the words of our Anglican Prayer Book, which say to God that his “service is perfect freedom.”

It’s really quite odd to say that we can gain freedom from becoming servants, and yet, the New Testament writers kept telling us that they were servants (or more literally ‘slaves’) of Christ.

In fact, we read this phrase from the hand of Paul, James, Peter and Jude, who regarded this concept as being at the very core of the Christian identity.

But this should come as no surprise to us: Jesus said of himself in Mark 10:45 that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So as we serve each other, let us enjoy the freedom that comes from being a slave of Christ.

After all, when Jesus is our slave master, we experience a love that came at the very expense of his life.

And so, as we gather to serve each other, let us do so as people who joyfully consider God’s service as perfect freedom.

Jodie McNeill.