Gleanings – Truth that Sets Us Free

John 8:33-47

“How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?”

After a summer of travels, some personal and most missionary, “Gleanings” resumes. How appropriate that it begin with a discourse on truth and lies. “Gleanings” is meant to capture a nugget of truth from one of the three Daily Office readings. For those who practice their daily devotions through prayer book services (aka offices) of Morning and Evening Prayer and read the prescribed lessons, this is a place to find a fresh exposition of something they have just read. It builds community when we are literally and figuratively on the same page.

Looking for truth is so terribly important. We must be vigilant. First, truth sets us free. We are often looking for freedom. Less often we look for it in the truth. Acknowledging that I am not good at math frees me from pursuing fulfillment in engineering. Simple I know but truth nonetheless. There may be expectations, even pressure, that I pursue engineering. Accepting the unhappy truth that math is not my thing will free me from something that could so easily bind me. Of course a greater truth, a universal one, is in play here. Freedom from sin that enslaves us is found in the truth, in Jesus, the way, the TRUTH and the life. I can look for freedom elsewhere. I can even declare it in my rebellion. But I will still be bound. I won’t be free.

Second, the evil one seeks to keep us in bondage through lies. “For he is a liar and the father of lies.” He will trip us at every turn with falsehood and it often has a glimmer of or glimmers like truth. He will cause us to rationalize our sin. “This affair is the only way I can be truly happy.” So replete with lies this is. Happiness is not the goal. Even if it was the goal, an affair won’t achieve it, at least not for more than a few fleeting moments. He also seeks to destroy us by lying to us about who we are. He tells us we are unlovable and therefore not worthy of God’s love. So if not worthy of Love’s (God is love!) love, whose? We despair. The evil one makes us our own grim reaper.

The antidote to lies is Truth, the Truth that is Jesus and the truth that is the right way to see the world and understand our circumstances. May we, by the Lord’s favor, glean a bit more of the Truth each day! Make us free Lord Jesus! Make us free!

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