Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S September 2021

REV JOHN K-S 05-2021Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston

We have heard a lot recently about ‘freedom’. July and August saw the end of most of the restrictions that we have been living under for the past eighteen months because of the coronavirus pandemic
But what is real and true ‘freedom’? The Bible has much to say about freedom and its opposite: ‘slavery’. The closing stories in the Book of Genesis about Joseph and his brothers tell us how the descendants of Abraham came to live in Egypt. In Genesis chapter 12 we learn of the call of Abraham by God to be the father of a great nation through whom all peoples would be blessed

The Book of Exodus recounts how Abraham’s descendants (including those of Joseph and his brothers) came to be enslaved in Egypt for 430 years and how God rescued “his people” (now known as “Israel”) and brought them to freedom in the promised land. The rest of the Old Testament is an account of God’s continued dealings with his people, their failure to fulfil their calling and of God’s plans for the future
Onto the scene at the beginning of the 1st century AD bursts Jesus of Nazareth, declaring that he is the Son of God, that he has come that people may have life and have it to the full, and that if he makes someone free, they will be truly and actually free. See, for example, The Gospel of John chapters 8 and 10
The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews and St Paul in his letters pick up this theme of freedom, often referring to the Old Testament stories of the people of Israel, their slavery, deliverance and arrival in the Promised Land. They see these stories as a picture of the universal human condition. In truth, they say, all human beings are in slavery to sin (their selfish actions and desires). Only God can set us truly free. And he has made this possible through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son. But this true freedom, God’s free and undeserved gift, can only be received through faith is Jesus Christ
Ask yourself: “Are you truly free? Do you live life to the full? Do your thoughts, actions and desires fall short of what you know to be the best?”


also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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