Do you ever have a week where there seems to be a bit of a running theme? The theme of my week seems to be freedom. I started the week by having a conversation with someone who was upset by the lockdown and was upset by how it was affecting their freedom. Then there was the big news story that Donald Trump had been banned from Twitter. This caused many people to ask huge ethical questions about freedom of speech. Then the youngest member of our household told us that they had been discussing whether humans or animals have more freedom in their philosophy lesson (yes I was surprised to learn that they now study philosophy in Primary school!).
All of this talk of freedom got me thinking about what it means to be free. After all, freedom is a huge part of the gospel message:
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." Galatians 5:1
Freedom is an interesting concept because we often equate it with being able to do whatever we want. The problem is that it is this kind of thinking is that often brings out the worst in us. Often we use the freedom argument for our most selfish actions. We argue for freedom of speech when the words we want to use would be harmful to someone else and we argue that our liberties are being stolen from us when we are being asked to change our behaviour to consider others.
The freedom described in the Bible seems to be a bit different. Christian freedom isn't about being allowed to do whatever we want, in fact, we are actively told not to abuse our freedom and to use our freedom for good. Instead, freedom in the Bible is all about freedom from specific religious rituals which people were having to perform to be able to be close to God. We don't need to do any of that any more. God is not stuck in a specific building and he doesn't need any set prayers, rituals or songs for us to access him (even if some of us find those things helpful). We can have access to God whenever and wherever. That's good news for all of us, particularly during the lockdown.
So, take courage, we may have to distance from each other but God is not distanced from us.