To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:31-36
- Thought for the day, from a conversation with Rebekah about freedom: The definition of “free” is something at no cost; if it’s free, then it doesn’t cost anything, right? The irony is that freedom – real freedom – is always costly. Somebody paid a high price; it may not have been me, but somebody certainly paid.
Okay, so I’ll skip the clichés of, “Wasn’t it the middle of May just a couple of days ago?” – “Where did June go?” – or, “It can’t be July already, can it?” Because, well, it is. It is well and truly July the first; and besides, everyone has a personal clock that runs at its own speed. Mine just happens to be a bit hyped up right now.
Time, however, is not something that is predictable, uniform, incrementally consistent, or likely to behave subject to our expectations. The seven-week summer holiday from school I remember as a ten-year-old, for example, lasted a lot longer than the entire twenty-six weeks we’ve covered so far in 2018. The five seconds our daughter (then three-years-old) was out of sight when she stepped behind a pillar at the mall were agonizingly long. The ten-day vacation Rebekah and I took this June was over in what seemed like twenty-four hours.
Slipping out of day-to-day time:
So I think it is beautifully appropriate that we begin this new month by slipping out of the day-to-day time we experience in minutes, hours, and days, and setting aside a part of the morning to enter God’s timelessness and to pause in the divine presence long enough to remember that we were created for eternity, not just the enumeration of life calibrated in terms of the movement of the Earth in relation to other celestial bodies all careening through space at incalculable speeds that have no real meaning outside of the rotation of our planet and its constant dance around the Sun.
When we are served communion it is as if time evaporates and Jesus is right there at the table, serving us the bread and the wine, offering his life for us – for me and for you – and asking if we are going to take him seriously enough to follow, and to trust, and to carry his light and love into the world where we serve.
Freedom? I am not sure what it means outside of the life Christ offers. If the Son sets us free… then we are going to know the full weight of what that gift requires of us. And then, then we are going to have to live in some kind of grateful response to all that is now possible…
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.