Free Indeed

Monday 06 Dec 2021

What controls you? Is it the compulsion to have the latest gadgets and accessories? Is it the obligation to return every phone call and reply to every text message, email or notification? Is it the demands or expectations of others? Is it the desire to be respected or admired? Is it the belief that your mistakes define you? Is it the fear of being judged by your words, actions or appearance? Is it the need to be seen engaging in religious practices?

We cannot serve multiple masters. It is not possible to live under the control of others while also living in authentic communion with God. When we let others’ expectations, our perception of their expectations, or even our own expectations drive us, we abandon our genuineness and abuse the freedom gifted to us through God’s ultimate sacrifice.

Jesus died to set us free. This includes freedom from a preoccupation with the demands and expectations of others. In God’s presence, these demands and expectations – real or perceived – fade into insignificance, and we rest in a lifestyle where only one requirement (or commandment) exists: love.

When we thank God for the circumstances that seem to sap our emotional energy, God’s power and presence are revealed, giving us perspective, peace, joy and freedom. And this freedom we receive in and through Christ is outrageous. It’s extravagant, it’s radical – and it’s ours.

We entered the 2021 school year with the theme ‘Free Indeed’. As we traversed a year smattered with lockdowns, home learning, face masks, physical distancing and other COVID-safe measures, we considered what this freedom means for us individually and collectively. We set the goal of reminding ourselves and inspiring others to let go of worldly demands and expectations and to truly live in the freedom that is ours in Christ. We didn’t always get it right - we can’t possibly get it right in our human form - but resting in the knowledge that God walks alongside us was key to our spiritual wellbeing in a year that will long be remembered.

God went to immeasurable lengths to secure freedom for us. We have much to praise Him for. Let’s remember this well beyond 2021!

PS - As we move into the Christmas season, it could be very easy to get swept up in the stress and demands of the holiday period. I commend this 180-second Advent Conspiracy video to you as a refreshing reminder of the freedom that is ours despite the seemingly relentless chaos around us. Blessings to you and your family at this wonderful time of year as we celebrate the birth of Jesus - the one who changed the world. May you and your family intentionally make the

time to stop, reflect on and celebrate the hope, joy and peace that is ours through Christ.