Free to Live
There is this interesting little line in the letter that Paul of Tarsus wrote to the faith community in Galatia.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never >again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” – Galatians 5:1, The >Message
What does it mean that we are set free to live a free life?
Our freedom is rooted in grace. When are all bound up in shame we can't live well. There is a constant fear and a constant sense of existential dread. Everything we do is under this weight of shame. Shame presses us into hiding from being exposed. We believe that we are the sin-sickness that entangles us.
Grace comes in and says, “No! You're free! You are healed from that sin-sickness, your true self is now free to live life to the full! No more hiding! No more worry! You're whole and free and embraced by the Divine! Go now and live!”
Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full! (John 10:10)”
Grace frees to live that life.
In another letter that Paul wrote he wrote this, “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Ephesians 2:7-10, The Message)”
Isn't that amazing? We are not simply freed by grace but we are called by grace to join Jesus in work that he has “gotten ready for to do.”
When grace breaks into our lives it transforms everything. All of a sudden we are no longer burdened about this or that. We no longer find ourselves all bound up in shame. What do we find? We find our sense of purpose, a sense of being, a sense of calling!
One of my favorite movies is The Mighty Ducks. It tells the story of Gordon Bombay a fallen hockey star who has lost his way. He ends up having to coach a hockey team of benchwarmers. In the midst of his coaching his shame is removed as experiences grace after grace. What does he discover? He discovers that this thing that was at first a punishment, becomes his calling. He's a coach and he's really good at it. In his coaching he experiences love and joy and fulfillment.
This is the very thing that grace does. Grace sets us free to find love, joy, and fulfillment.
Christ has set us free indeed!