Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Was Born Free!

Acts 22:28

Then the commander said, “I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.” “But I was born a Citizen,” Paul replied.

Free, like a River raging

Strong, if the wind I’m fading

Chasing dreams and racing father time

Deep like the grandest Canyon,

Wild like an untamed stallion

If you can’t see my heart you must be blind, you can knock me down and watch me bleed.

But you can’t keep no chains on me, I was Born Free!—Kid Rock

We take our freedom for granted. Every morning we wake up, we can come and go as we please. There are no borders we can’t cross, no schools we cannot enter, no prayers we are not allowed to pray in our sacred assemblies. We have a lot of freedoms that we enjoy because we were born free. There are people in other countries still enslaved in the Sudan, persecuted for their faith in India, fearful for their life in Palestine, children being used as sex slaves in Bangkok. We have so many freedoms that we don’t even realize how good it is to be free.

Just three or four generations ago we were slaves in America without any civil rights. We had no say so for our own personal desires. We were not allowed to read, to marry, to raise our families, to pick our president. We couldn’t go to certain schools, we couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods, couldn’t shop in certain stores. We were slaves.

Our Ancestors paid a heavy price for our citizenship. Today, when our babies are born they are born free. They don’t even have the posture of a slave or the pain of remembering that we ever were slaves. They were born free, free from the low self-esteem imposed by those who told us we were 3/5 of a human. Free from impossibility thinking because they see a President that looks just like them and walks just like them. Free from the fear of some terrorists burning a cross in their yard, raping their mother, or lynching their father. We were born Free.

The Apostle Paul was born free. Even though he was a Jew from an oppressed group, he was born a Roman citizen. Rome was the dominant ruling nation over Israel but Paul’s citizenship gave him access to rights that others didn’t have. When the Roman authorities were getting ready to flog Paul over accusations from the Jews, Paul reminded them that he was a Roman Citizen. ‘You can’t beat me I was born free!’ The guard in charge told Paul I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship, ‘How did you a Jew, afford this freedom?!’ Paul said, “I was Born Free!”

As African Americans, we remember during Black History month the paradox of our existence, we are born free because our fore-parents paid the price with their lives for us to be citizens. More than that, Jesus died for us all so that all of us, white, black, red, brown and yellow might be born again and set free. WE are citizens of another world and Jesus paid the price to set us free and we are Free indeed!

Dear God,

Don’t let us take our freedom for granted. Help us to use our freedom to set other captives free, to give sight to the blind, to help the poor, to end slavery worldwide. Help us to use our freedom to stop the sex slave trafficking of young girls. Help us to use our freedom to end homelessness and poverty worldwide. Help us to use our Freedom to ensure that all men and women have access to certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In Jesus Name,


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