Friday, August 7, 2009
Pastor's Perspective - A Greater Freedom
"My job was to do one thing, which I was honored to do, as an American and as a father," ... "I wanted those young women to be able to come home.” – Former President Bill Clinton
Earlier this week as I was preparing for the day, I watched the live coverage of the homecoming of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two Americans captured, tried, and sentenced by the North Korean government. For 140-days they became unlikely pawns in an international propaganda war between our country and one bent on rogue behavior. As the door of their shimmering jetliner opened, both women quickly descended the stairs into the open arms of their elated families. Talk about a feel good scene. Don’t we all just love happy endings?
After many tears and hugs, former president Bill Clinton regally walked down the jet stairs. In a 20-hour whirlwind trip, he had met with the North Koreans and brokered the journalists’ release – the hero of their freedom. During her brief emotion-filled statement, Laura Ling spoke of their shock and joy at going from a state of despair and hopelessness into a meeting attended by the former Commander and Chief. According to Ling, the minute she saw and met him, she knew that everything would be okay.
Again, we as Americans love happy endings. In a cinematic-saturated culture, we like it when the bad guy gets his, the Death Star and the great white shark explodes, and the good guy gets the pretty girl, riding away in a convertible while Joe Cocker belts out the chorus. We absolutely dig it! I dig it, and dug it earlier this week. As image-bearers of God, some things actually survived the Fall, namely our sense of justice and resolution.
As I enjoyed the scene being played-out in a Burbank airliner hanger, I was soberly reminded of the greatest rescue ever recorded. Think about it.
At one time, every member of the human family was held justifiably captive, by our own rebellious nature. Each one of us lived in a state of perpetual despair and hopelessness, powerless to liberate ourselves from the iron bars our sins warranted. Unlike Ling and Lee, we were absolutely guilty of treason and mutiny against a holy God. Then, just when we thought all was lost, someone left the peace and splendor of his home faraway and perfectly brokered our release – sinlessness for sin – righteousness for unrighteousness.
Wouldn’t it have been the epitome of foolishness, for Ling and Lee, after seeing and meeting Clinton to say, “No, we’re fine where we’re at. Thanks any way. We’re cool”? Instead, they were overjoyed and overwhelmed that their rescuer would come from so far away, such a powerful individual whom they had never met.
Through the person of Jesus Christ, the hero of our freedom, God the Father has liberated us.
Because as a father, He wanted us to be able to come home.