He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
~ Luke 4:16-21
My little boy loves being involved in everything I do. And usually I think this is great. However, when it comes to me cooking something in the oven, I’m not as big of a fan of him following after me, trying open everything I do. The knobs for my stove are on the front of my oven, and the handle is just right for a toddler to reach up, grab and pull toward himself. Typically, he has no interest in the oven, but if I’m doing something with it, he is right there, wanting to be part of the action.
Which means for now, he goes in his play yard until I am finished preparing dinner and can play with him far away from the stove. His play yard is the biggest one I could find (big enough for him to walk around in), he can see me easily and once it’s full of his toys, he has a pretty good time in it. Yes, he protests a bit when I put him in it, and then gets down to business playing.
Yesterday, after dinner was baking in the oven and filling the house with yummy smells, I went and got him out, so he could be free to roam around the house again. And when I did, I noticed something funny – he kept heading back over to the play yard, checking out the toys he’d left behind inside of it. It was almost as though he wasn’t sure he wanted freedom in exchange for what he’d left behind.
Now, of course, he doesn’t really have to make that choice. Once the play yard is folded up and put away, he has full access to all of his toys and his freedom. But it made me think a little bit about how we act once we’ve accepted the salvation Christ has offered us. Christ came to earth to set us free – before He lived, died and rose again we were captives of sin. But His resurrection breaks the bonds that sin had on our life. Yet, don’t we find ourselves peeking back at what we’ve left behind? Surrounded by freedom, yet not totally sure we want to give anything up. Unlike my son’s toys, however, what Christ asks us to give up isn’t anything good – He asks us to give up the sin that entangles us and keeps us from living a truly free life.
So next time you’re tempted to look back on your captivity with fondness, turn yourself around and look at the amazing freedom in Christ your world is filled with. It will make anything you’ve left behind seem insignificant and meaningless.