I saw first hand what lack of freedom can cause. Because I was here in Europe on World Freedom Day. November 9, which marks the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of communism in Europe. A day I remember well. Here in free western Europe, we started seeing a large influx of eastern Europeans. People no longer under bondage. Hoping to find a better life, with the prosperity that often accompanies freedom.
And our children watched, amazed over young people seeing moon maps for the first time.
They didn’t know that man had even been in space, let alone made maps of it. And they poured over books, even common reference materials, amazed at the vast assortment of information available. It made me appreciate, more than ever, the freedom I’ve known all my life.
But the saddest thing was that though these young people had a great yearning to know God, they had been kept in the dark.
A foolish mistake, I think, on the part of the communists. Because it seemed to only whet their curiosity even more.
Like in the old movie, Little Lord Fauntleroy. The little lord’s grandfather asked him, “Well don’t you ever forget about her (his mother)?” “No sir, never,” he exclaimed, “I shouldn’t forget about you, you know. If I didn’t live with you, I should think about you all the more!”
The selfish old man had hoped that keeping the boy away from his mother would make him forget her. But it only made his longing grow stronger. And this is what we saw in those newly freed ex-communists. A longing to learn and know about all that had been kept from them.
Perhaps this is why freedom is one of Christ’s greatest gifts.
Because it not only sets us free from sin. But is frees us to seek, grow, and learn. And to become who we should.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’, (John 8:31-32, 36).
Christ’s freedom is special, because it sets us free to do right.
- By breaking the bonds of hatred, grudges, and bitterness it sets us free to love and forgive.
- By destroying sin and lies, it clears our conscience and keeps us from living a lie.
- It breaks the bonds of greed and selfishness, freeing us to give and care generously.
- And it breaks the bonds of fear and worry, freeing us to rest in peace.
Freedom. Something to truly celebrate.
Be it physical freedom, emotional freedom, or mental freedom. And especially spiritual freedom. But as we celebrate our freedom, let’s not also remember those don’t have it.
Because usually those who have long been kept from freedom — long for it the most. Like the Little Lord without his mother. Greater lack often creates greater hunger.
Go out and find some hungry people!