There is something that feels a little strange about navigating some of the process of relocating to the States on a day like today.
Not strange in a bad way but just an entertaining sort of strange, that my slightly odd sense of humour finds weirdly amusing as we ready ourselves to move to Texas while our soon to be neighbours celebrate throwing off the colonial shackles and their independence. It is most poignant that independence brought liberty, the freedom from the control of a distant and remote governance.
Liberty is worth celebrating, I think it is a beautiful thing and resonates with the intended order of life, the way things were always meant to be. At the beginning of the scriptures we find a beautiful picture of life free from the shackles of evil, hunger, disease, death and greed. So many of us dream of life where, peace, provision, health and care thrive and yearn for the values Jesus embodied to take reign in our world.
The beautiful truth is the liberation He brought can do just that.
One of my favourite stories of the year is one young lady who connected with our team in the middle of navigating incredible difficulty in her life. As she engaged it with them on a regular basis it was clear Jesus was doing something very deep and very personal in her life. Towards the end of the second term/semester she joined them for a residential weekend (my American soon to be neighbours would probably call it camp). The residential overlapped one of the BYL projects the teams were organising and so one of the activities was an Easter giveaway on the streets of the local town. Attending the residential was a huge step for this young lady and so she nervously accompanied one of the team for the giveaway but before long she boldly chose to step up and engage with as many people as she could meet sharing chocolate and some of what God had been doing in her life. An incredibly bold step but the story doesn’t finish there because if I remember right that giveaway became the catalyst that fuelled her with courage to share how Jesus was changing her for the better and later the following week she had the wonderful privilege of helping two of her friends, who were navigating similar issues in life, invite Jesus to be part of their world.
An encounter with Jesus is a liberating experience and the wonderful privilege He gives is His invitation for us to partner with Him in that beautiful process. Jesus is in the business of liberating humanity from fear, depression, anxiety, self harm, and
hopelessness. In His Kingdom, evil, hunger, disease, death and greed have no place.
So long may our world come alive as His liberating power sets us free.