You are free!

“Given and shed for you for the remission of sins.” 

The New Year cannot top those words.  In fact, those words can’t be topped. Words that sum up the Lord’s Supper for us, words that change everything about our past, present and future.  For if these words do what they say, then we are free!  Free from our past, free from the crookedness of our lives and all the intolerable guilts that dog even the good we do and chip away at it. 

Our freedom extends into the present as well since we have no past wrong to cast its shadow over our life now. 

And we are free in respect to the future—free to plan, to dream, to plot, and to hope without having to consider our past history or something dark lying in way ahead of us.

Remission of sins is God’s undoing what we have done.  God does not try to improve or repair our past deeds.  Remission of sins undoes our deeds.  How is that possible?

There is One who was free, who did not hug his freedom to his heart, but surrendered it, fell a prey to the past and their tyranny  over the present, and “became sin.”  There is One who chose to let our fate hang over him.  And more!  He was not content to exchange his freedom for only one man’s lack of it.  He had to free every man by making every man’s slavery his own!

Make sure you do not mourn for Jesus as though you understood what it meant for him to lose his freedom, to become poor, that by his poverty we might become rich.  Be like the child at Christmas who never reckons value or dessert but seizes his gift, tears away the careful wrapping, and holds the thing up to his greedy eyes.  God does not weep for his lost freedom.  His love for us has cancelled his remembrance of it.  Celebrate his becoming human!  Revel at the altar and stand tall for tomorrow and its possibilities.  You are free! 

(With thanks to Roy Harrisville)