Inspired by Acts 3:17-4:4
“Repent, therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.” Acts 3:19-21 (NRSV)
In Dickens’ classic work, A Christmas Carol, the spirit of the late Jacob Marley is depicted as being weighted down by chains of his own forging, and he tells Scrooge that he’s also been forging the chains of his own entrapment by the choices he’s made in his life. The idea of being literally burdened under the weight of our own choices is a poignantly accurate image of what it means to live without God.
But, like Scrooge, we have a chance to free ourselves from the burden of our sins. And we don’t have to have a frightening night spent with ghosts to do it, either. All we need to do is let go of our chains and turn to God. God our Father will help us unfetter ourselves from the dark, heavy burden of our sinfulness and refresh us with the lightness and the purity of his love. Even as we continue to live in this world, groaning as it waits for redemption, we will be free from the bondage of sin and embraced by his grace through the love of his Son Jesus Christ.
Let us pray. God of the ages, you have given us a way to be free from our self-made chains of bondage. Help us to turn to your grace, that we may not only stop forging the chains of our own enslavement, but may shed the chains we’ve already created. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.