Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Oh FREEDOM! Luke 4:18b

W.W.J.D. = Oh Freedom!
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Luke 4:18b  He has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM for the prisoners.
BlogFam, As I begin to reflect on this part of our verse on today, I cannot help but think of the old Spiritual I hear most often during Black History Month in February…
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
And before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
Oh Freedom!
FREEDOM is defined as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.  It is exemption from external control, interference,regulation, etc.  FREEDOM is the POWER to determine action without restraint.  It is the POWER to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without. 
Oh Freedom!
So what exactly did the slaves mean when they sang this spiritual? And is there meaning relevant today?
Well, I believe that the meaning of this spiritual is not restricted to the social and physical bondage that slaves experienced.  I believe it obviously included that; however, the FREEDOM to which they referred meant so much more than the FREEDOM that could be legislated by government or signed into law by the President.  This FREEDOM was FREEDOM of the mind, the body, and the soul.
There are so many people who are walking in bondage in their minds, their bodies, and their souls. These people are not only inmates in the prison cells behind bars, with armed guards, and electrical fences; but they are confined to the boundaries that others have imposed upon them or that they have assumed for themselves.  People are being controlled in ways that many will refuse to acknowledge simply because it does not look like the brutal and inhumane pictures we see and stories we read about the days of slavery.  My friends, if there is any area in your life where you do NOT have the POWER to determine your own actions without restraint, then by definition you are NOT FREE.   If there is any area in your life where you do NOT have the POWER to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without, then by definition you are NOT FREE.
I know that this might throw some of you for a loop but let’s truly think through this. There are so many things that I know that I do not completely understand about the ways of people and the ways of this world, the systems that are in place and the socio-political and economic philosophies that guide and guard the systems in place.  I admit that I do not know it all and I do not understand the depths of the FREEDOM we may or may not be entitled to; however, I do believe that your FREEDOM, my FREEDOM is worthy of our reflection on today and our reaction on tomorrow.
Furthermore, while we might celebrate our FREEDOM in and through the Lord Jesus Christ as the epitome of all FREEDOM, the truth is that when we are NOT free in other areas of our lives, the FREEDOM we have in and through the Lord Jesus Christ is undervalued and overshadowed by the social, political, economic and emotional constraint that hinder or outright prevent our POWER to determine our own actions, exercise choice and make decisions. 
In other words, as saved as inmate Number 33455 might be, he is physically still behind bars and unable to enjoy the bounty of the FREEDOM he has been given in and through Christ. 
As saved as that single mother on welfare might be, her EBT card and low income housing afford her limited options to experiencing emancipation from the confines of her present situation. 
As saved as that executive might be in his or her heart, the current scandal – even if initiated by others in the company –will taint the satisfaction they find in their POWER to determine their own course of actions. 
As saved as your Bible Study Group leader might be, if he or she is bound by the heartache and heartbreak of past relationships, then their perspective of the FREEDOM they have been given in and through the Lord Jesus Christ might fall beneath the actual deliverance granted them by God.
BlogFam, in other words, I do NOT think that Jesus simply wanted us to be FREE in our souls through His blood that was to be shed at Calvary when He speaks these words. But I believe that Jesus knew that the FREEDOM He wanted all of creation to experience was holistic, a complete awareness that we can LIVE and LOVE without regret and when there are others who do not own their POWER to LIVE and LOVE, we are to proclaim their FREEDOM to those who are imprisoned and to those who imprison.
He has sent us to PROCLAIM FREEDOM to the prisoners.
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
And before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
BlogFam, Are YOU Free?  AND more importantly, in what ways have you proclaimed FREEDOM to those who are imprisoned? Perhaps, today is the day that you re-evaluate your own sense of FREEDOM and truly own the POWER you have to get free and to free others in the process!  Perhaps today is the day that you name the past or present people, places, things, situations, or circumstances that control you, regulate you, interfere with you and keep you from being ALL that our God is calling for you to be. Perhaps today is the day that you proclaim FREEDOM for some man, woman,boy, or girl, that does not know that they can be FREE!  Perhaps today is the day that you stand up and speak up to those who imprison others and deny others the FREEDOM to LIVE and LOVE without regret simply because they themselves have been the victims of the same kind of bondage.  Perhaps today is the day that all of us remind each other that Jesus has already declared our FREEDOM and repent for the ways we have denied others the FREEDOM that has already been divinely granted them. 
BlogFam, Today is the day to PROCLAIM:
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
And before I be a slave or a slave-owner, a prisoner or one who imprisons,
I’ll be buried in my grave – because it is FREEDOM I have proclaimed
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
My sisters and brothers, HE HAS SENT US TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE PRISONERS…including ourselves!!!
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