On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. Their presence harkened back to the final text of the Old Testament, in which Malachi invites the faithful to remember the covenant made with Moses, and the to look forward to the return of Elijah. The Transfiguration solidifies what the disciples were longing for, the promise of the prophets made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, come to liberate them from the fear of death and the hatred of oppression.
Isaiah promises that the Messiah to come will come as a suffering servant. This would have been an unexpected and unwelcome announcement by those who desired a warrior-like king to redeem them from their enemies. Yet, as Jesus walked the Emmaus Road with the disciples, he likely not only identified himself as the suffering servant, he probably invited the disciples to consider how they might heed God’s call for the faithful to see themselves as freed from the powers of empires that we all might be servants of the Almighty.
Whatever your worry – whatever binds you from being everything God has created you to be – through the power of God in Jesus Christ, you are loosed. The love of God in Jesus Christ frees you from all that keeps you from living into God’s will for your life. And there is but one proper response: the community rejoices. Your freedom is my freedom; Jesus’ freedom is our freedom.
God has blessed this world with more than we would ever need. And yet, so many still go without. As Christ was our example, our call is not to offer temporary relief that retains one’s oppression, but to offering freeing love that gives new life.
“We’ve always done it that way” is one of the least faithful responses to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit gifts us for far greater freedom than being slaves to our past. There is a more faithful way.