Thursday, 1 March 2012

Freedom- What is it?

This weekend was a great one for good sermons. Chris spoke strongly on Gal 5.22 and Matt 5.1-12.

But my highlight was Rowan Williams on Radio 4 (Sorry Chris). Other than a great message on freedom, Bonhoeffer takes centre stage...It is worth a listen:

Rowan Williams summarises Stations on the Road to Freedom:
  • Discipline
  • Action
  • Suffering
  • Death

(Taken from: Bonhoeffer, D. (1956). Letters & Papers From Prison. London: SCM Press. (July 1944, p170)

He comments on how counter cultural true freedom is. Most people would avoid each of these, freedom for most people is to enjoy life the way they want to. It is about choices and enjoyment. Bonhoeffer provides a critique to this.

It makes Freedom something which is judged according to God's criteria, maybe the Jesus Manifesto (Luke 4) would be the way to express freedom:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

   because he has anointed me

     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free, 
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (NRSV)
In Nachfolge (aka Cost of Discipleship or the new addition Discipleship), Bonhoeffer goes through the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). Following Jesus is the call. Jesus Christ laid down his life freely, no one took it from him (John 10.18).  True freedom is a life laid down.

The link between the two sermons is fruit, Chris concentrated on Kindness and what true kindness would look like. The fruit of the Spirit is what we so want for our lives, but the fruit comes as we follow Jesus Christ and lay down our lives, not endless striving. Fruit takes time to grow.


Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you,
Help us to lay down our lives and take up yours,
That you may produce a harvest in our lives and an overflow to the rest of your creation.
Come Holy Spirit.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit


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