21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever.[a] 22 For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. 24 In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters,[b] there remain with God. 1 Corinthians 7:21-24
I visited the Holy Land this time last year, and now, I often envision Paul by the sea…in prison…at Caesarea. What strikes me is that Paul is in chains. Yet, Paul’s letters don’t sound like Paul is in chains. Paul has freedom despite the chains. Despite the chains, Paul is free.
Friends, this is the true freedom that is the gift of God. It is not the false freedom the world wants to possess. True freedom, despite our circumstance in the world, allows us to take a deep breath and choose to follow the One who creates, the One who redeems, and the One who encourages.
Holy God, may we embrace this precious freedom that comes at such a price. Send us the gift of your freedom and Holy Peace that sets us free…even when we live in the chains of the world.
(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Spiritual Director and Supervisor
Retreat House Spirituality Center