We have been following various YouTube ‘thoughts for the day’ during lockdown. One of these is Adrian Plass “Sounding the Shallows” but we have also been following some of the thoughts from Life Church Manchester who are working their way through Mark’s gospel a few verses each day with a two minute thought.
In Mark chapter 2, Jesus was asked why his disciples did not fast like those of the Pharisees and John the Baptist. His reply illustrated that he was bringing a new order, a new way of being, a new way of religious observance not based on keeping rules and regulations which many Jews did not keep in any case, but a new vessel for freedom. The verses that follow where Jesus talks about the destructive nature of putting a new cloth patch on an old garment and putting new wine in old wine skins announce a new and better order of things. A new covenant releasing us from the penalties of the old.
Jesus told us all that “… a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35)
As a young Christian I did try to read my Bible every day and pray and wonder about how hard it was to jump through hoops that some traditionalists and preachers laid before me, but none of them made much sense. I am not sure precisely when I realized that my identity was not in a practice but a person, Jesus. Along that journey I got to meet grace and love and at some point I decided, as he always ask us himself, to follow him. We do good because he did good, we forgive because he forgives, we pray because he prayed, we study scripture because he held it in his heart and spoke the reality of it, we walk his path and follow only because he gave us a personal indwelling guide, the Holy Spirit.
Here’s a worship song with Life Church Manchester about such identity in Jesus and freedom to be yourself in him.