Freedom. It’s something that rings. It is something that calls out to be heard, to be known, to be declared. A trumpet call. A canon fired. A flag raised. When freedom is claimed, it is a statement made.
And then we gather close with others who are free so that it can ring out again and again, in remembrance, with as much pomp and circumstance and glory as we can muster. Because freedom deserves rejoicing.~~~
~~~Flashback to nearly 20 years ago: I’m a scrawny tween at a church summer camp, laying in my bottom bunk after lights out, still holding the salvation “paperwork” I’d received that night.
How many times should I repeat the sinner’s prayer before something emotional happened? Surely I would sense the rush of the Holy Spirit filling me, or shed tears of repentance as my depravity fell away like the scales from Paul’s eyes. I had made a choice of allegiance and finally welcomed that growing desire to know Jesus like a friend. I waited for a sign, for even the slightest glimmer of God’s glory in that moment.
Eventually I tucked my postcard prayer under my pillow and just hoped everything had worked properly, completely unaware of the slow-burning fuse that was finally crackling to life inside of me.
Now, looking back, I smile at the memory of checking decision boxes with sparkly gel pens and just beginning this long journey of knowing God.
I had wanted some fireworks that night. I wanted all the vibrancy of celebration. I listened to hear freedom ringing all around me but I was blind and deaf to the spiritual realities that even now I don’t fully comprehend.
Romans says that Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father and that we are brought to life in the same way – by his glory. And that the same spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead also dwells in me.
So, the glory that was there with Jesus, present and real, when life flickered inside his corpse and he walked out of his grave and into a new day… that same glory was there in the quiet moment when I began to walk in the newness of life. And it has remained and continued to ring out ever since – to be heard, to be known, to be declared: You are free!
Do I have ears to hear that call?
Do I have eyes to see the glory of God perpetually at work in my life, bringing forth the fruits of freedom?
If only I would seek and ask, and then come and see those holy fireworks, illuminating dark nights with sparks of flame and bursts of color and power and unquenchable fire.
Often I am blind to it, but there are moments when I am aware and it is breath-taking. His glory is alive and well in this world.
So as I spread out quilts on soft summer grass and look up into the night sky, I will remember the glorious freedom that is mine in Christ – that has been mine since that quiet, awkward summer night sixteen years ago. And in my heart, I come forth to herald it. I stand beneath it among others, my people, who know what it is to be brought forth out of darkness.
And we will all lift our eyes to the heavens and rejoice – because we are free.
Britney Baer is a born-and-raised Southern girl married to a born-and-raised African boy. Writing about Jesus, life, motherhood, (and sometimes chickens) is what keeps her sane, and she's learned to treasure the simple power of sharing stories. You can find hers at www.baretribe.blogspot.com.