Rev. Eric Brown
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God - 1 Peter 2:16
I was going to start this by saying, "I'll let you in on a little secret." But, it's not a secret. Well, it shouldn't be, but we treat it like it is, covering it up, not wanting to tell people about it, being bashful and embarrassed about it. We shouldn't, but we do. Well, here it goes: You don't have to impress anyone.
There it is. The great wonderful truth of the Scriptures, the great freedom of Christ that we in American like to bury, that we try to kill. You don't have to impress anyone. When you go and live, you don't need to impress a single person, and you certainly don't have to try to wow God. You are free. When Christ Jesus died and rose from the dead for you, He freed you from the burden of ever having to try to impress anyone, because you are no longer judged by what you do, but rather by what He has done for you.
Live as a person who is free--free in Christ. This doesn't mean "Woohoo! Now I can go be nuts!" I mean, you're free, but that doesn't mean you should be dumb, and all sin is at its heart dumb. Seriously. It's dumb. It doesn't really work out right. No, you are free to go and be a servant, to show love and compassion, and it doesn't matter one bit if the world or the people around you think your service and love to others is dumb.
Because that's the truth. The world thinks showing love is dumb. The world will think that showing Christ's love to others will make you a sucker, a mark, and easy target. So what...you're free! You don't have to live for yourself; Christ lives, and He lives for you. You're free of making yourself an idol and free to show love. ?? The self-righteous think that showing love is dumb. It's not impressive, it's not nice and clean. Showing love to your neighbor means meeting them at their lowest, and that's icky. It means covering your neighbor's shame with no one hearing about it, no one praising you. The self-righteous can't handle that; the whole point for them is to be able to say, "Hey, look at me." So what! You're free. Christ draws your eyes off of even yourself and on to Him. You're free of those self-justification games; free to show love.
The truth is, it's all about what Christ has done. He has lived, died, and risen again. And He has done this for you. And He's done this for your neighbor. And--this is pretty neat--He even uses you to give His own blessings of care, compassion, love, mercy, forgiveness to your neighbor. All that good stuff that He does through you and it doesn't matter a hill of beans that the world doesn't like it or that the smug don't like it. You're free--free in Christ.
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois.
Created: March 21st, 2016