I hear a lot of talk about freedom but I don’t know that I’ve ever really seen it, except maybe in my dreams.
Some see freedom as a chance to escape. To leave and explore far away lands. But I dream of a freedom which lets me truly come home to the land where I dwell, to the person I really am. To be peace with a place.
Others want a freedom which means they can do whatever they want. No rules, no laws, no consequences. I want a freedom that frees me to obey. A freedom to be able to love God and my neighbour. A freedom from my own rotten selfishness, and to instead find joy in goodness.
Others still see freedom as a creativity divorced from this-worldness – to create and live in pure abstract form. I want a freedom to build, to invent, to collaborate to make things which make the world a better place.
There are those who say ‘live for the now’, the freedom I chase allows me to reflect on the past, be in the present and work for the future, leaving something for when I’m gone.
Some see freedom as the ultimate escape, a higher spiritual plane divorced from the world and the body, a kind of heavenly nirvana. The freedom I seek is strong enough to dwell in flesh and bones, to endure, to suffer and die for it’s cause.
So, like all those pop-quiz questions at Church, the answer is Jesus.
Simply Jesus, to an unfathomable depth.
“Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone”
From ‘Desperado’ by the Eagles (I prefer the Johnny Cash version)
“Mission is […] not the saving of disembodied souls out of creation but participation with God in the redeeming of whole persons to become fully alive in creation”
– Hastings ‘Identity in a Missional God’