Spotlight 11/2020: Jesus sets our soul free

What does freedom have to do with an eagle? Well, watching such a majestic bird soar higher and higher into the sky with just a few flaps of its wings is a fitting image to describe unlimited freedom, says District Apostle Rainer Storck of Western Germany.

In the first divine service at the beginning of the year the Chief Apostle gave us a recommendation: “In 2020 I propose that we focus on this spiritual dynamic: Christ makes free!”

Dynamic has to do with freedom of movement, energy, courage, and development. When I think about these terms I image an eagle, the king of the sky. With only a few flaps of its wings and rising air currents it gains altitude, an image of sovereignty and freedom. Its freedom is seemingly boundless. With this dynamic, the bird protects and provides for its family. An important part of its task consists of helping its offspring, the eaglets, to develop the dynamic that is within them so that they can take advantage of it and provide for themselves.

If I now imagine an eagle in a cage or one whose wings has been bound so that it cannot spread them, then this has nothing to do with dynamic any more. In fact, it is pathetic and unsettling to see, although we are still talking about the same creature. But it is no longer free to move as it was born to. Once this bird is freed from the cage or released from its bonds it can return to its former majesty.

I would like to use this example for our life and our faith. Sometimes worries, sorrows, and disappointments depress us so much that we are severely limited in our freedom of movement. Our thoughts oppress us and we lug ourselves from one day to the next. We notice it ourselves, and sometimes we cannot even hide it from others; we do not see a way out.

But does it have to stay that way? No, because Christ makes us free. He gave us His word. His word is the truth, and the truth of the gospel makes us free. The sacraments of redemption have their source in Jesus Christ, and they strengthen our soul. This dynamic comes to expression in a hymn in which it says something to the effect of: once the wings of our soul are free again, we can joyfully sing: He renews all things.

Last but not least, I would like to remind us that a fervent prayer, in which we seek a connection to our Lord Jesus Christ, can free us from many a dark thought and tormenting worries, for we know: He cares for us and we have nothing to fear.

In this sense, I wish us all this wonderful dynamic: Christ makes free!

Photo: Marcel Felde

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Rainer Storck