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Independence and Wolves- Episode 14

Let's contemplate today the concept that sounds in the political lexicon like a trumpet from beneath Jericho, but in the evangelical sense, like a soft whisper of the wind: independence. Today, Jesus still has a lot to say on this subject, and without a doubt, he does it with both seriousness and a smile, or a wink.

Let's start with a tweet Jesus made twenty centuries ago: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." He might add: "And no, I'm not suggesting you should avoid paying taxes because the emperor squanders them." Aren't we sometimes like sheep complaining about fences and wolves, forgetting we have a vast green meadow? And as for the wolves? There are at least several peaceful ways to tame them.

If Jesus were active today, he might organize the biggest flash mob in history, calling people not to march but to a communal feast. With a mere nod, he'd arrange bread, fish, and wine, and under the fireworks, he'd invite everyone to walk on water. And if asked about independence, he'd reply with a smile: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Isn't it intriguing that the greatest revolutionary in history tells us to pay our taxes conscientiously?

Freedom according to Jesus is not just the absence of trenches but also the absence of iPhones at dinner. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Aren't we sometimes more tied to our electronic gadgets than to our neighbors? How much energy do we spend remembering all our passwords and PINs? Jesus would undoubtedly have something to say about our obsession with the latest technology, fashion, or over-indebting ourselves at the banks.

Christ taught about an independence that is truly controversial: it's about freedom from selfishness, freedom to serve others, freedom to love our enemies. Yes, to love them, not just to forgive them. Because it's easy to love those who like us. It's harder to love those who think differently until they come to love us in return!

May our hearts and minds become independent as Jesus would have wanted. Let them be free from pettiness, free from the limits we impose on ourselves, and free to laugh at ourselves. For as ancient wisdom says, laughter is the shortest distance between two people - and Jesus knew such shortcuts the best.

May God bless us all on this holy day.


Pastor Witold Augustyn


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