Spotlight 01/2020: Freedom brings courage!

From a human perspective, limitless freedom is unachievable. The only limitless freedom that exists is through Jesus Christ. Following are some thoughts on the annual motto for 2020 from District Apostle Rüdiger Krause (Northern and Eastern Germany):

For this year, our Chief Apostle has published the motto: “Christ makes free!” Freedom is a precious commodity. Constitutions and laws have been created to give people freedom, but on the other hand also to curtail them. There is no such thing as absolute and perfect freedom here on earth. This is something we can ultimately only receive when we are with God. And in his remarks concerning the New Year’s divine service, our Chief Apostle also explained that freedom is a gift of God, which none of us can earn for ourselves.

Many things have been undertaken in the name of freedom. Many military conflicts have been initiated, ostensibly in the interests of liberty. We all surely know what to make of such things. Recently I read something about the city of Bagamoyo in Tanzania. It is one of the oldest settlements in the country and is a port city. Around the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, the port of Bagamoyo was also used for shipping slaves. That is likely also where the name of the city came from. In translation it means “Lay down your heart” or “Let your courage fall!” For the slaves, this was a clear indication that they would never again see their homeland. It was clear to them from the start that they were now being loaded aboard these ships as slaves, and that there was no more chance of escaping their fate. Today we can barely even imagine the dreadful suffering these individuals endured. By the time they reached this place, the slaves knew that they might as well abandon their courage, and give up all hope. They had no more future.

Naturally this is an image from a time long ago. However, we still fall into the slavery and dependency of sin even today. How beautiful it is that the sacrifice of Jesus makes us free, that we have such a great and wonderful future ahead of us, namely to attain freedom before—and with—God, and that we know we have been destined for this future! Concerning this, our Chief Apostle says: “By remaining faithful to Christ, we remain masters of our future. Our destiny is to be with Christ forever in the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Photo: Jennifer Jendral

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Rüdiger Krause