“So Much Joy”

This Weeks Meditation:  “So Much Joy”
Read: Romans 6:1-14

This past week we saw the dramatic release of two men who were being held captive by the Iranian government.  Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer had been sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison for what Iranian officials called espionage.

Both of them say they were just on a hike in the mountains between Iran and Iraq and were oblivious to being near the Iranian border. When they were arrested they were hiking with their friend Sarah Shourd who had been released at an earlier time. (the men were in prison for approx. two years)

It was amazing to watch their press conference upon returning to New York City and trying to imagine the joy and relief that they must have been feeling.  Sarah said, “There’s a huge burden lifted off of all our chests, so much joy.” She went on to talk about other things and then ended by saying, “I’ve never felt as free as I feel today.”

Many times throughout the Bible we are reminded that we as believer’s in Jesus Christ can say that as well.  Through the forgiveness and grace that Christ has offered to us with his life we too can have the huge burden of sin lifted from us.  Romans 6 is just one of the reminders of that freedom.

When Paul wrote those words he was writing from a first hand experience.  At one time in his life Paul persecuted Christians and committed other sins and then when he came to receive Christ he realized that Jesus’ grace for him brought so much freedom and joy to his life.

So often people carry around the weight of past sin and failures. It holds them captive and robs their joy. But Jesus offers us a way to release it all to him.  He died on the cross so that the weight could be lifted from your life.  The big question is…. Do you need to receive that grace and forgiveness of Jesus today for anything?

Make it personal:  If you are feeling the weight of sin and failure today I hope that you will receive Christ’s unconditional love for you and allow him to help you say those same words…. “There’s a huge burden lifted of my chest, so much joy!”

Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church