I witnessed horrible brutality in the film Twelve Years a Slave and suspect that it was not far from the reality of those times. I cherish my freedom and feel privileged to live under our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I chuckle to read Jesus’ stories about slaves. What slave loves his master and serves willingly? Only threats and coercion keep him from running away. Jesus wants us to learn a deep, ironic truth in the story: I want to be free. I’ll run away from the master the first chance I get. I don’t want to serve any master, even God, who is merciful and kind. I am worthless to a master who desires a servant who is a willing worker.
Fortunately for us, God is quite capable of doing any work that needs to get done. God chooses you and me not because we are productive, but simply because God likes to have us around. God has a commendable quality of loving, of wanting to be together, even with sinners like us. We call this communion. It’s no accident that Jesus left a meal as the central activity for God’s family. Neither slave nor free; when we gather around God’s table we are all equal, together.
Thank you, God, for setting us free to enjoy one another and to live in your loving presence. Amen. — TG