There are a couple of examples that have made me think about freedom in Christ recently. The first is an example from the other day. I was watching a fly that was trapped between the screen and the window. I was amazed that it was still flying around after being trapped there all winter. This fly reminded me of the Israelites and the Exodus. Freedom was right on the other side of the screen, but the fly was enslaved by the window holding it in this limited position.
I decided to open the window and let the fly go free. After all, it had survived a harsh Minnesota winter. If it made it through that, I figured it had earned a chance at freedom. So, suddenly it was free, just like the Israelites coming out of Egypt, but it clung to the screen. It wouldn’t leave the comfort of the situation it was accustomed to. How often we ourselves cling to the comforts of this world, refusing to step out on the road to freedom. Eventually, after hours away at work, I came back home and it was gone. It had finally stepped into the desert of my apartment. In order to get outside, into the promised land, it would now have to navigate through my apartment, down two stories of stairs, and out the door. Whether that fly ever made it or not, I don’t know, but at least it had taken a shot.
This whole scenario made me think of our own journeys and what we must go through to get to the promised land. We have to leave the comfort of the situation we’re in, navigate for what could be an extremely long amount of time or distance, and finally cross that threshold into freedom. Will we take those steps in faith?
The other situation I thought of was an analogy between my own paralyzed body and the Body of Christ. As the Church, we are the mystical Body of Christ. “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12) Every part of the body has a specific function, and we as members of the Body of Christ have specific functions too, with Christ being the head.
I thought about this in relation to obedience. When the head tells another part of the body to move, it expects it to obey and move. Usually the other part of the body does indeed obey, and therefore moves freely. However, in my own body, I can tell my legs to move as much as I want, but they don’t. They have lost the connection to the head and therefore are paralyzed. It is extremely frustrating to have legs that I want to move, but won’t obey the commands my head is giving them. Is this not the same with the Body of Christ? When we obey, we allow Christ to move freely. When we disobey, it is essentially paralyzing the Body of Christ. It’s like having legs that won’t move when they are told to. This is why obedience is such an important virtue.
It’s also important that the Body of Christ moves in harmony. Imagine a body that has one leg trying to go left, and another trying to go right. Essentially the same result would occur as in the above example. It wouldn’t go anywhere. We have to keep in mind that we are part of the same Body. When one part suffers, we all suffer. When one part rejoices, we all rejoice. Therefore, we should be attentive to the other parts of the Body. If they are suffering we should comfort them. If they are living in sin, we should admonish them. If they are following Christ faithfully, we should encourage them. In all things we should seek to maintain this harmony so that Christ can move freely, for Jesus Himself has invited us to share in this freedom. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) What a wonderful gift.
William Joseph Scheremet