Monday, October 02, 2006

A Day of Atonement

Today is the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and although I'm not jewish... today has seen an atonement of sorts for me personally.

No, I didn't fast for 25 hours or follow any of the practices of modern Judaism... and I certainly didn't have any bulls or goats sacrificed on my behalf in Jerusalem... for as a Christian, I believe that Jesus' death outside Jerusalem has paid for my sin... or as Matt Redman once put it - the cross has said it all!

Anyway, I digress. The atonement I speak of today is a financial one. Today, the last direct debit on my penultimate loan came out... and siezing the moment, I took the opportunity to alter my final outstanding loan. I will no longer have to wait 18 months to be free... by God's grace I have reduced the timescale down to a maximum of 12 months... and I have changed the nature of my loan, so that I can pay extra amounts if I choose to. Optimistically I could well get the heck out of Dodge by late summer next year!

Glory to God!

OK, so you could argue that I'm ahead of myself here... I'm not free yet, after all. However, to cite an example:
In the United States of America, Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th
July... but the historical fact is that independence had not been secured on
that day. The war did not end... and my people did not recognise
the Declaration of Independence until over 7 years later.

In the same way as America's founding fathers served notice on Britain, I have served notice to my own tyrants... though my enemies are not flesh and blood... but fiscal.

"No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power tyrants and dictators cannot stand. The Centauri learned that lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free." - Citizen G'Kar (Babylon 5 Season 2: The Long Twilight Struggle)

Again I want to use this post as a rally cry to those struggling in sin, debt or any weakness. If I can be free, then any of you can be free... all of you can be free!

You don't have to write what your problem is here... but send me a comment with just your name in it... that can be YOUR signature in your own personal declaration of independence from whatever problems ail you. If your name goes in here... not only are you making your pledge to fight for yourself.... but you have my word that I will at the very least say a prayer for you.

If you want to be free of your chains then give them to Jesus, for this is why he came:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

If you don't feel in a position to do that then lay them here at this door and be assured that those who follow Christ and read this blog... will take up your cause with you. I fundamentally believe that whatever weighs you down today... be it guilt, sin, hurt, fear, illness, bitterness, loss, rejection, neglect, abuse... whatever it is... God would have you be free of it and I offer you the chance to cry out for that freedom here and now!

For freedom's sake write down your name.

God bless you... whatever you decide


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