Letter from Jon, June 2021
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom
2 Cor 3:17
A lot has changed over the last month in terms of our lockdown restrictions, having moved from level 3 to level 2, and with the news today that we will be moving to level 1 this weekend. This, of course, has allowed us a greater freedom of movement and, for many, the opportunity to meet and even hug our family and friends. It is also good news for many other sectors of our economy, allowing businesses to resume, shops to open, cafes, restaurants and bars to welcome people again. It is easy for us to take for granted the freedoms we enjoy in our country, and it is not until these freedoms are restricted (necessarily) that we begin to appreciate just how precious our freedom is, and how wonderful it is to have these freedoms reinstated.
Liberty, of course, is another word for freedom, and the verse we often associate with our Church is 2 Cor 3:17 “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom’. As we start to plan our own path out of lockdown, my prayer, and I know the prayer of many others, is that our Church would increasingly be a place of freedom. As we heard an update from Helene on Sunday about our CAP Centre, our desire is to see many more people find freedom from debt. We want to see people set free from poverty, from addiction, from fear and violence, from negative mindsets and behaviours, from pain and despair. Whilst these freedoms in themselves can be life changing, for us as a community of Jesus followers, the greatest freedom is found in Christ, in life-giving relationship with our God. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we are ultimately set free from the power of sin and death over our lives, It is in Christ that we have hope for this life and beyond. It is in Christ that we walk free from our past and into a new destiny with a new inheritance. Every other freedom we have to offer in this world finds its fulfilment in this ultimate freedom in Christ.
If we believe that true freedom is found in the presence and through the power of the Holy Spirit, then my prayer is that we would be increasing aware of his presence and power working in us and through us. May our lives, both when we are gathered in worship and when we are scattered in our neighbourhoods be marked by the presence of God through his Spirit. I believe these are exciting days for the church in our land. Let me encourage you to make it a regular (daily) habit of simply inviting the Holy Spirit to fill you again, to invite him to work in you and through you, to look for his leading, to start to expect his power; a power that brings true freedom to us and those around us. .
Love and Abundant Blessings