Liberation is not easy. Liberation is not pain free. Liberation often involves difficult battles and suffering. It may well be liberating to swim naked in an ocean but true liberty is the freedom to be ourselves; to accept and love ourselves for who we are.
It was an honour to hear first-hand from men and women who had survived the holocaust. A few years from now there will be no more survivors; their generation will have passed on from this life. As he spoke Peter said, “Try not to hate; hatred gets you nowhere.” I want to learn the strength and power of the decision to love.
Jesus preached that we should love God and love our neighbours. This week I heard a preacher subtly preach condemnation, encouraging the congregation to boldly stand up for rights, to be ready to fight. It was a sermon that misused scripture and encouraged hatred for anything that is other. It was a sermon that subtly made space for racism, sexism and homophobia. The church is broken because it’s forgotten to love her neighbours and is choosing to fight them instead.
In the days following the resurrection of Jesus his disciples had their eyes and minds opened to things they had not seen or understood previously. I pray that the church today would have its eyes opened and be a place; a people; a community of hope for the world. Open the eyes of your Church, Lord.