The Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan
Today’s Gospel: John 8:33-47
Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin… So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Let’s face it, in today’s world sin is not a popular topic of conversation. So why is this the case? We reject that truth about ourselves: “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1John 1:8). Our sinfulness is just not something we are comfortable in owning.
Our Catechism (An Outline of the Faith) found in The Book of Common Prayer defines sin as “the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation.” Our need for control separates us from God by trying to fit God into a mold instead of being open to God’s bountiful mystery and grace. It is so easy for me to believe that I have everything in my control until I don’t–and it is in these moments that I come to accept my total dependence on God. These are truly moments of surrender that are both humbling and liberating.
Jesus’ message that he brings freedom implies that we live in slavery–in a form of bondage and, honestly, none of us wants to believe that we don’t have freedom. So much of our modern lives is spent trying to reassure ourselves that we are, or should be, free from any constraints. We aspire to self-realization, self-actualization, self-sufficiency. We perpetuate myths that we are at the mercy of no forces that we cannot control.
Today and everyday God is offering us freedom through Jesus Christ. Freedom from denial, for one. Freedom from having to pretend we are more than we are. Freedom from believing it all rests on us. Freedom from feeling that we need to hide our failures, our hurts, our neglects and freedom to simply be all that God has made us to be among others who also fail and hurt and neglect and do wrong. Freedom to be all that God wants us to be.
What can Jesus free you from today?
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen. (Enriching Our Worship)