Dave Brisbin 1.9.22
Who can really set us free? Judge, jury, priest, pastor, lover, forgiver? We say Jesus is our savior. And we wait. But Jesus said if we followed him, we’d know truth, and that would make us free. Jesus, truth, law, circumstance? Who can really set us free?

In a movie, an old convict is released from prison. Gets a job bagging groceries and drives his boss crazy raising his hand every time he needs a bathroom break. Finally told he doesn’t have to ask, just go, we hear his voice tell us that after forty years, he couldn’t squeeze a drop without sayso. The state released him, but who can really set him free? In the other direction, Gandhi and MLK found an interior freedom that even the full weight of British and American empires could never crush with all the laws and soldiers they could muster. Who set them free?

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In Jesus’ language, freedom and forgiveness share the same root that means to release, restore, return to original position or form. In the Semitic mind, to be forgiven is to be set free, and to be set free is to be forgiven. Jesus said that if we forgive our brother, then our Father in heaven would set us free. But if we didn’t set our brother free, neither would our Father forgive us. After all his teaching and stories of unconditional love and unlimited forgiveness, what is Jesus’ point here? That forgiveness is after all, performance-based? That forgiveness and freedom are withheld until we do the right thing? Of course not. Jesus is merely answering our question: who can really set us free? Have you ever been asked or asked for forgiveness, but even when granted, knew in your heart nothing had changed—you were still not free from either victimhood or guilt? No apology, restitution, or power in heaven or on earth can set us free until our own hearts are ready. If God is love, then God is forgiveness too, which means God is freedom itself. God can’t be anything other than the fact of what he is, and the moment we risk the freedom to extend forgiveness to another human is the moment we experience the truth: our release has already and always been granted, but we are the only ones who can set us free.
 

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational,professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.

 

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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events. We maintain a food pantry for those needing more support, a recovery worship gathering, and child care for those with little ones.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and our Recovery gathering on Tuesdays at 7PM. Both gatherings include worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. See our monthly calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.

 

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