Freedom flows through all the readings for Sunday. Moses reminds the people of Israel they have the freedom to choose between life and prosperity or death and adversity. Ironically, this freedom to choose life comes through the freedom to choose obedience to the commands of God. In other words, Moses tells the people, they are free to choose bondage to God and life or bondage to sin and death. Either way they will be bound to something. In the second reading Paul reminds Philemon that he—Paul—is not free but is a “prisoner of Christ Jesus.”
In the gospel Jesus speaks a challenging word about freedom from family ties, which resonates in ways that might make modern people a tad uncomfortable. Our guest preacher, Pastor Wendi Gordon says, “You might wonder why Jesus would say we cannot be his disciples unless we hate our lives and our families. That seems to contradict his teachings about loving everyone, even our enemies. What does he want us to do?” In Christ, freedom comes from letting go. Freedom comes through giving away and trusting Jesus. In Christ we are free people. Free to choose life, free to choose faithfulness, and free to open our arms wide and receive the free grace of God. Join us this Sunday as Pastor Wendi reminds us that this is the God who freely chooses to never stop loving us!
Pastor Wendi Gordon
Wendi Gordon, like her husband Steve Brauner, is an ELCA pastor on leave from call. She is now a writer; you can read some of her many published articles here: https://bio.link/wendigordon.
Cover Image: Freedom in the Shadow of the Cross by Jae Im Kim (with permission of Overseas Ministries Study Center at Princeton Theological Seminary). Copyright © Jae Im Kim/Overseas Ministries Study Center at Princeton Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. Used by permission.