Jesus called the religious authorities "slaves to sin." In John 8:35, Jesus explains this by saying, "The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever." God is offering us "home" - a place where we can be secure, safe, dream big dreams, and be who we are made to be: God's children! What is interesting to me is in discovering what comes before sin. It is insecurity. The common experience of the "slave" is insecurity, not having a sense of belonging, or a place in the world. Feeling left out, being discarded, not good enough lay the ground work for a life of desperation and "missing the mark" of God's intention for your life.
Why else did Adam and Eve sin in the garden as told in the second creation account in Genesis? Everything was good and they had everything they needed. But, the serpent told them that God was holding them back, preventing them from being equal with God. Suddenly, their sense of safety and security evaporated. This account speaks of not only how sin happened but how it happens everyday. Jesus is offering freedom from this slavery of insecurity and hopelessness. A home.
I recently took my kids to see the movie, "The Greatest Showman." It is such a beautiful musical about the life of legendary P.T. Barnum (played powerfully by Hugh Jackman). It speaks movingly of this dreamer who came from nothing and created a community of the outcast, deformed, and odd people who were living in the shadows of society in his new circus of "curiosities." He wasn't perfect, chasing "respectability" and ever increasing applause from the crowds, he failed his "community" for a time. What made me teary as I watched was the profound reminder of what the church is supposed to be was right in front of me. Creating a beloved community, a secure space for people to be the children of God, running counter to the grain of culture's shallow and oppressive norms. We may not be the "Greatest Show on Earth", but we, are called to a life of showing the love of God to the world!
Check out this video - this is church y'all! "And we will come back home, and we will come back home, home again!"
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)