Pause

Freedom is a noun.

Freedom means being exempt from external control.

Christ preached freedom, lived freedom, and offered freedom to all.

We have the opportunity to live into the freedom of Jesus Christ and also the responsibility to work toward ensuring others may live into their God-given freedom. Let the Spirit move in, around, and through you today, that you might live freely in Christ our Lord.

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Listen

As Jesus and his disciples traveled along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.”

Then Jesus said to someone else, “Follow me.”

He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and spread the news of God’s kingdom.”

Someone else said to Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say good-bye to those in my house.”

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for God’s kingdom.”

Luke 9:57-62

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Think

In Driver’s Education we learn to read street signs. We know that the Stop sign means we cease moving, but then at some point we have to move forward. Approaching a stop sign, we essentially have three choices: go straight ahead, turn right, or turn left. We have to make a choice, and whatever it is, we’re moving on from the point where we are currently.

Jesus tells his new followers that they must choose when they say they want to follow him. We can’t live both in the current and also in the future Christ gives us. We must make the decision that will bring us life, love, and freedom. But it’s a hard choice to make! It may mean leaving behind family, jobs, friends, homes, etc. It may be lonely, we may face betrayal, and we may suffer, but Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy life – only a free life. We’re at the intersection, and we know our lives will never be the same. So do we follow Jesus, or do we stay put?

Katie Barrett Todd

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Pray

Dear God, give me the courage to follow you. Give me the courage to move forward from the stop sign without making excuses. And, Spirit, help me to not look backward. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

South African freedom hero Nelson Mandela said: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Freedom requires us to live so that all may be free. Christ’s freedom is not for one person, but for every person.

Go today into the world and fight for the freedom of another.

Go today to let the world taste the unending love of Christ through loving your neighbor.

And go today letting the Spirit change your motivations. Live free, and fight for freedom.

Katie Barrett Todd

Rev. Katie Barrett Todd is Associate University Minister at Nebraska Wesleyan University and an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She holds a M.Div and MACE from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Katie has served churches and campus ministries in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. She currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, a youth and young adult pastor in a local congregation, and her two toddler children.

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