15th April 2014

Let Freedom Ring! 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
 

“April 15th 1945, was like any other day—but not for us. We were reborn on that day. Few of us believed that we would even survive and see freedom again. There was no more spirit in us—spiritually we were dead. But a new life sprang up from the filth and ashes of the liberated camps. When the British entered Belsen, some of us fainted for joy, and most of us had no strength left to celebrate. Normally people do not remember details of the day of their birth, of course. But we do—all the details of that April 15th 1945! ” 

On Being Reborn was written by Paul Trepman, a survivor of the Belsen concentration camp. Have you ever thought about those survivors? And if you have, did you try to plumb the depths of their joy, the height of their thankfulness to the British forces who had risked shedding their own blood as they plucked them from that dark graveyard. Blood was shed to accomplish this, pain was endured to bring it about—in the same way, the great God never forgot mankind but sought us out and has brought us to himself. Colossians 1:13-14 (Phillips) says, “We must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light. For it is by his Son alone that we have been redeemed (set free), and have had our sins forgiven.” 

Shortly after his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus began his ministry.  Luke 4:16-20 tells us that he travelled to the town of Nazareth, where he was brought up, entered the synagogue where he and his family had worshipped all his life, and stood up to read. The scroll was handed to him and he found a section in Isaiah 61:1-3 and read it to the congregation. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Then he gave the scroll back to the attendant, sat down and said; ‘This very day this scripture has been fulfilled, while you have been listening to it!’” (Luke 4:16-20 NIV).  Jesus came to do just that, to set us free! 

Let me conclude by quoting something that Martin Luther King said during his speech 50 years ago on August 28th 1963: “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty we are free at last!’” Freedom is a very precious thing but it needs to be embraced! 

Prayer
Lord, thank you for the deliverance, the liberty we have through the awesome sacrifice that you made for the whole of mankind.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

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cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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