He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king. - Saint Augustine
Scripture Text: Rom 8:14-17
Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, "Abba, Father!"
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.
The scripture reading today describes finding comfort with God. Sometimes we don’t feel worthy, we get confused, or maybe we feel that we don’t need God. For me these natural feelings can cause me to feel like a stranger to God, or perhaps even a “spirit of slavery.” When I read this term, an image pops into my head of a person with shackles lying in a dark dungeon. This person lives everyday in darkness and suffering but one day has a visitor. The approach of this visitor causes a frightening feeling for the prisoner because he is so used to being harassed by guards and unpleasant people. It is the prisoner’s own worry and feeling of unworthiness that causes this fright, much like worry and unworthiness can cause us to fear God and fear the faith to let him in. It is only until that visitor approaches the dungeon bars, opens the door, and unshackles the prisoner that the prisoner realizes the visitor should not be feared, but be thanked and loved. This feeling comes from opening ourselves and realizing that we are children of God, and he is there to carry our burdens and break our chains.