Setting Jesus Free

A few weeks ago I joined the ranks of those who have been ‘knocked out’ with Covid. While there is not much I remember about those first few days, as I felt so horrible, what I do remember is that Jesus was pretty active!

I discovered grocery deliveries at my front door, bags of throat lozenges, Panadol and Nurofen (my lifeline), a personal delivery of chicken noodle soup every day, flowers, and daily text messages and calls of “are you ok?” I have to say that I really was overwhelmed by the love and kindness which I experienced during that week.

Ironically towards the end of the week, when the fog was beginning to clear, a feed from one of the regular devotional sites emerged on my laptop “Covid set Jesus Free”. It started with these words:

Church historian Diana Butler Bass shares a moment she experienced while at prayer before the icon of Jesus in the Washington National Cathedral:

“Get me out of here,” the voice said again.
I stared up at the icon. “Jesus? Is that you?”
“Get me out of here,” I heard again, more insistent now.
“But Lord . . .”
The chapel fell silent, but I know I heard a divine demand for freedom. . .

She talks about how many people have left the ‘building bound’ church as it has wounded them, betrayed them, or simply bored them. Bass then goes on to say how during the Covid pandemic Jesus has not been bound to a building but has been in the faces of those on Zoom calls, with us when we were alone or kept from loved ones, when we struggled with online learning or ongoing sickness in our schools, or praying on mobile phones for friends or family members in hospital we couldn’t visit…Jesus was free from ‘the building’.

Jesus was certainly busy at my door-step, on the phone, and in my home when I was sick. While we are now able to return to ‘the building’, the place where we can worship together, may we never forget the Jesus who is not constrained by four walls but who meets us in our own lives, who has been with us in fear and confusion and loss, in forced isolation and the surprising moments of joy.

And may we be aware of how we are Jesus’ heart, hands and feet to those in our family, friends and community.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. 1 John 4:7,8 MSG



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