It’s been over a year since we were all told to stay at home and only go out if it was essential. We were allowed to go out once a day for exercise, to shop for food, or to do essential work if we couldn't do it from home. These were the basics but much more detailed rules were written into law to define what was meant by 'essential'. Since that time those rules have changed, they have been relaxed and they have been reimposed.

Now things are starting to open up again we're getting our freedom back; we're allowed to meet with more people, eat out in restaurants, do 'non-essential' shopping. Hopefully soon things will be back to what we previously knew as 'normal'.

Back in the Old Testament, when God chose his people Israel, he gave them a set of rules to cover things they could and couldn't do. The basics were written in the 10 commandments but there was a lot more detail besides that. Over the years, the rulers of Israel continued to add to the rules – so much so that Jesus accused them in Luke 11:46 of “load[ing] people down with burdens they can hardly carry.”

We know, however, that Jesus came to release the people from all those rules and give them freedom. The people were burdened by the idea expressed in James 2:10 that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

What a relief to hear Jesus’ new message of freedom. Paul summed it up in Galatians 5:1 when he said that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Not only are we eagerly awaiting freedom from Covid restrictions, but also “we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” The way we express that faith is through love, so as we march towards new physical freedoms let’s also show our spiritual freedom through love.

M and RC
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