Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Set Free

Jesus, therefore, said unto the Jews who believed in him, `If ye may remain in my word, truly my disciples ye are, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'  They answered him, `Seed of Abraham we are; and to no one have we been servants at any time; how dost thou say -- Ye shall become free?' -- John 8:31-33 (Young's Literal)
It comes as a bit of surprise that when Jesus says, "... You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free," that the response back is not to argue about the truth and what it is, but that they are free.  This speaks to the differences in their time and place compared to ours.  We are a litigious, science-based society where there is always a quest for truth -- better studies, better research, better evidence, better sources.  There they lived under an oppressive foreign power.  While we think in terms of proving truth, they lived thinking of the fragility of their freedom.

We oftentimes confuse truth with reality.  Our reality gets filled with daily living things -- things like job, finances, relationships, family, health, marriage, etc.  We get so wrapped up in all the issues, problems, comings and goings of slogging through a day that we accept it all as our "lot in life" -- our truth.  In the same way that the Pharisees lived out the "truth" of their freedom and had difficulty comprehending what Jesus was saying, we too have difficulty.  We have difficulty remembering Jesus proclaimed "The way, The Truth, and the Life."  We easily forget about this trying to balance a checkbook, finish by a deadline, or argue with children.  Jesus teaches a grander Truth, a wider Truth, a Truth that transcends this world, this life.  Through going to church, through taking the cup and bread, through a time of daily prayer and moments counting our gratitude/blessings we remind ourselves that our real life -- our eternal life -- is bigger than the mundane appearances of "important" in our day.  Know the Truth, and in that Truth you will be set free.

Release us Oh Lord to remember again that you walk side-by-side with us and lift us up to a plane higher than that in which we get mired.  By your holy name we pray.  Amen.

(This was the essence of a homily I gave at St. Luke's Episcopal Church's vespers service in Renton, WA.)

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