Faith Daily | 6 April 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 490
We thank you, heavenly Father,
that you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
we pray that
as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his presence abiding in us he may raise us
to joys eternal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 8: 31-42
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ 33They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’
34 Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. 38I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’*
39 They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing* what Abraham did, 40but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.’ 42Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Sandra
The Jews were very proud of their ancestry. They were descendants of Abraham and lived in a generation that had never been enslaved. So, they were very proud of their heritage but unfortunately this had made them proud and at times, judgemental.
Yet, Jesus indicated very clearly that he was not there to save their national pride – he was focussed on their souls. He used the metaphor of a slave to illustrate the truth that sin makes everyone a slave. Slavery in 1st Century Palestine was usually a life sentence, with almost no rights and no recourse.
People who are slaves to sin, Jesus says, have no rights. A person enslaved can be cast out any moment and without warning. In contrast, Jesus says, a son has legal rights to all the father’s holdings. The position of the son is permanent – but it is not so for the slave. The slave has no property and no family standing. However, if the son sets the slave free – then they are free indeed.
Jesus knew that if a person’s soul could ever be freed from its love affair with sin, then the rest of that person’s behaviour would take care of itself. In other words, if Jesus breaks the chains, we can stop spending our energy dragging around heavy weights. We have nothing to fear from the One who loves us without limitations or breaking point.
Jesus is pointing out that rather than family heritage or church affiliation, it is his perfect truth that frees us to be all that God has called us to be.
FINAL PRAYER: Adapted from Celtic Daily Prayer – Northumbria Community
We thank you for our freedom in Christ Jesus.
Receive our thanks for night and day,
for food and shelter, rest and play.
Be here our guest, and with us stay,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.