By Robert Halsey Pine
“Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-18 NRSV)
Our best human image of what God must be like may be Deputy Barney Fyfe of The Andy Griffith Show (Mayberry RFD). Sounds a bit bizarre, doesn’t it? Think about it in the context of 2 Corinthians 3:1-18 quoted above.
You must admit that Barney has a spirit. He seems to get involved in everything that comes in his path. And wherever his spirit is engaged, there is freedom. How many times has Sheriff Andy locked someone in the Mayberry jail, only to have Barney get involved and somehow let them out? Where Barney’s spirit is, there is usually freedom. So, God is like Barney Fyfe; He has a way of freeing people up.
The freedom God gives is hard for us to realize in our everyday life. But how about the lady who was executed by the State of Texas several years ago? While in prison, she had become a Christian and dedicated her life to the Lord. The Governor of Texas chose not to pardon her. No matter how we may feel about her crime and punishment, God had already granted her freedom. She had turned to Him and she went to her death a free spirit.
Not a day goes by without a challenge to our freedom. Whether it is at work, school, play or home, we often feel that threat to our freedom. It might be an illness, an accident, a conflict or a failure. We have the means to deal with all of this. Our means is the Lord Jesus Christ! He is perfect freedom.
Almighty God. Help me to see that when I turn to You the window is open and I am free to fly away. With You at my side I cannot be imprisoned. Teach me to be disciplined in my commitment to You, so that I may better recognize Your gift of freedom. In Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen!
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.