Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Freedom from Oppression

"The Spirit if the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."                  Luke 4:18 - 19

Does that not sound wonderful? Jesus has proclaimed the year of the Lords favor, freedom for ALL from what disables/hinders or oppresses them. When I read this verse I always experience a sense of calm and peace knowing that my Savior has freed me and all of us from what hinders or oppresses us. Then it does not take very long for me to remember the world we live in.

In our world there are more people today that are held in slavery and servitude than ever in the history of this world. People around the world are oppressed, harassed and even killed because of their gender, race, ethnicity, faith and sexual orientation. And sometimes a person is killed only because they are standing next to the intended target of the crime.

As a follower of Christ how do I reconcile the violence of this world with this passage from Luke that quotes the book of Isaiah? I believe that despite the oppression that still remains with us, in no way negates what the prophet Isaiah said and later repeated by Jesus. This alone shows that God is always with us and that despite what oppression we may experience in this life God comes to us each day to offer this freedom. I also believe that just as Jesus was called to proclaim the good news we too are called to do the same as followers of Christ. If we proclaim this good news of freedom then no room is left for us to oppress another person. So how do we proclaim this freedom as Christ did?

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest Jesus replied,

 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second it like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."                                                   Matthew 22:37 - 39

If we are to proclaim the Lords favor and freedom to all then we must follow the commandment to love God and love our neighbor.