End Human Slavery: Freedom Sunday 2-21-2010

The primary biblical metaphor for salvation is being freed from slavery, because the Exodus was Israel's defining encounter with God.   

Freedom Sunday is February 21, 2010.  You can get your church engaged in this divine action with biblical precedent by visiting www.freedomsunday.org.

In order to get you ready for Freedom Sunday, let's review the ethics of Deuteronomy.

Treat your servants well, because you were once slaves yourselves.  Treat women well, because you've been weak and vulnerable before.  Don't be a slave driver or taskmaster, because you've been on the other end of that oppression.  Take a day off every week, because you're not slaves anymore.
Every seven years, free your slaves, because God freed you.  Every seven years, cancel all debts, because you've seen how debt destroys society.  Don't take advantage of people, because you know what its like to been taken advantage of.  Don't do anything to make people cry out to me, because you know I hear those cries.  Be generous to the poor, because God was generous to you when you owned nothing.  Treat foreigners kindly, because you yourselves were once foreigners.

You get the idea.

Act like freed slaves.

Remember, you were slaves in Egypt. 
That is why I command you to do this. 
Dt. 24:22

God's people are forever supposed to understand themselves as the Exodus people: ex-slaves, former-foreigners, once-vulnerable. A people with that kind of identity simply can't help but living ethically toward others. We too, are the people of God. And if we understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ we know that we too are an Exodus people...

...ex-slaves to sin (Rom. 7:14)

...former-foreigners to the covenant (Eph.2 )

...once-vulnerable to judgment (Rom. 3)

We are a freed people. We are an exodus people. God's people are former slaves.  If the people of Israel could have lived out of this memory, they would have served as an effective instrument of God's redemption...a light to the nations. Of course, we know, they forgot and their ethics followed suit until, as Bell points out, they began to look a lot like the Egypt they had escaped. And so, as Deut. 28 promises God brought on them "all the diseases of Egypt" and treated them like the anti-people of God they had become.
How's your memory? If you're finding your ethics don't seem to be as gracious or generous as God seems to demand, the best prescription is a little trip down memory lane--not trying to will yourself into obedience.

Remember, you were slaves to sin, alienated from God, isolated from real relationship, destined for death and without hope. Now live like you remember from whence you've came.

Don't know about horror that is modern day slavery?  Watch. 

No comments:

Post a Comment