a meditation on freedom.

an open letter to my generation.

freedom is a cross to bear.

we must embrace this truth if our generation hopes to have a meaningful impact on the world in this moment of history. it is trite to say we live in troubled times. we are surrounded by a militia of problems which constantly threaten to wreak havoc on our lives. and these are just the ones we can see. there are also the problems we do not see but know are there. the hidden crises. although, through prudence we may overcome them when they arise. and then there are the problems we do not see and do not know. of these we are completely oblivious. and completely vulnerable to them too. on a day we least expect, they will fall on us with a crushing suddenness that leaves us all bewildered by the terror which has torn our world apart. only grace will save us in that hour. only grace.

freedom is a cross to bear. and we must embrace this cross if we hope to overcome the rot which is poised to tear up our land.

***

there was once a King who allowed His body to be torn apart for freedom. He saw the corruption of His people and was moved with compassion. so He decided it was better for Him alone to be destroyed than for many to perish and be lost forever to life. He gave up His throne for a season in the dust. He visited villages. He slept under the stars. He preached and prayed. He walked across the lake. many crowds were drawn to Him. some were close friends. some were fans. some were snakes. they spoke with a forked tongue, searching for a chance to trap Him in their teeth. so when darkness provided the cover, they struck. a mob was sent to capture Him. He was arrested. He was tried. flogged. spat on. then, lacerated and maimed, a crown of thorns was pressed into His head. He stretched out His hands. we nailed them to the cross. hands and feet, we nailed Him.

that black afternoon, He hung there. on the tree. cursed. all so we could choose. to quote my friend Ella Roselt: he died for our freedom to choose.

freedom is a difficult choice. one which very few choose. for there is a price to pay. a very dear price. God paid with His life. and while countless generations have come and gone since then, the cost has not changed. ‘if anyone wants to come after Me,’ Jesus said, ‘he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.’

if we dream of changing anything in our generation, we must remember the meaning of sacrifice. not the sacrifice of the despots of independence or the imperialists of the corporations or the butchers of communism where a multitude died for the sake of a few, but the sacrifice of Israel’s Messiah – Yeshua the Christ – where one died for the sake of a multitude. we must learn what it means to die to ourselves. to lose everything so we may gain more.

because freedom is an invitation to pour out our lives. for something greater than us. for someone greater. Love. His name is Love.

without love there is no freedom. without freedom there can be no love. these are the two edges of the sword. the two sides of the blade which pierces to the heart. and it must pierce. for as long as we desire to be agents of change in the world, we must let our hearts be pierced. we must give ourselves over to Love. and honour His commands. and learn to walk with righteousness and justice, humility and truth.

for righteousness is freedom. and since the days of Noah, the faith of the righteous has set them free. it has overcome the flood. it has given birth to the promise, a miracle child named laughter. the mouths of lions have been shut. the sons of widows have been raised up from the grave. great giants have been slain. yes, since the days of Noah, the faith of the righteous has given us a kingdom of peace.

***

in the peace of sleep one night, Daniel had a vision. the prophet dreamed and saw how thrones were set up and the Ancient of Days sat down. His robe was as white as snow and the hair of His head was as pure wool. His throne was a flame of fire and its wheels were burning fire. a river of fire poured from His presence. a thousand thousands served Him. and a multitude of multitudes stood before Him. the Judge was seated. the books were opened. then one like the Son of Man came in with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. and to the Son was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. and all peoples, nations and languages served Him. His dominion is a dominion without end and His kingdom will never be destroyed.

ultimately true freedom is the return of the King. until then there is only a cross to carry. each generation is simply faced with this choice: will we bear it or not?

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