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3:12 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Column: What does our freedom look like?

I've been thinking a lot about freedom - the meaning of freedom, the misunderstandings of freedom, the consequences of freedom, and the cost of freedom.

In a recent discussion about the relationship between freedom and rules, a colleague of mine told me what I find to be an interesting story about "unwritten rules."

When my friend was in college, he met on a regular basis with the same group of students and a professor who was the facilitator of the group. On one occasion, someone suggested that the group "stir the pot a little," so to speak, so one of the students sat in the chair the professor "normally" sat in. It turns out that when the professor came into the room, and he went to sit in his aforementioned seat, the seat was already taken - and the professor would not begin their gathering time together until his seat was vacated, and he was able to sit in "his" seat. He finally got back his seat and the class continued in its normal fashion. Years later, according to my friend, that particular incident is what is remembered most both by the students and the professor.

I wonder what the above story says about being bound by rules in our life. In the midst of us revisiting the meaning of "freedom" for us both as Americans and as Christians, where does our freedom actually find its roots? What does our freedom look like? Are we actually free? Or are we somehow bound to Jesus Christ or to some other "power" that actually defines and administers freedom? These are all good questions to ponder as we celebrate the joy of freedom!

I'll see you in church, the grocery store, working out at the gym or around town.

E-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.