Wednesday, July 06, 2011

3rd Sunday after Pentecost Sermon -- True Freedom

On the eve of our nation's celebration of independence, the lectionary appoints a reading that can be heard as bondage, but taking on Christ's yoke is our true freedom.

An excerpt:
Perhaps then it seems ironic that today, the day before our Independence Day, that we hear Jesus words, “Take my yoke upon you....” The yoke is of course an implement that shackles two beasts together for labor. Hardly a vision of independence. This image seems to play right into the hands of all of the critics of Christianity (or any religion for that matter), that it exists to control and oppress people, that it refuses to allow people to think for themselves. The word “religion” doesn’t help us here. That word comes from the Latin root “ligare” which means “to bind.” Religion might bind us to a deity but at the same time it binds us from our true desires. From obtaining what we really want. Our pursuits of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are thwarted by the presence of this yoke. After all, religious adherents are not all that likely to live and let live. There are numerous examples of religion being used to advance various agendas, demonizing others, and even instilling horrendous violence. Is Jesus’ statement here then the smoking gun that critics of Christianity are looking for?

Read the whole sermon here.

Or listen to it below.

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