Thought for the Week, January 21 2022

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What is freedom?

We’ve been watching the BBC television series Saving Lives at Sea.

One episode, filmed last May, showed the Thames RNLI team who had been called to help Minnie the minke whale calf.

The little whale, having swum into the river, had beached itself on a weir.

With the use of an inflatable raft, after several hours of team effort, the whale was re-floated.

However, during their attempt to tow the animal back down-river to the sea, it managed to free itself.

The following day, Minnie was spotted again but this time it had swum further up-stream and was stranded at Teddington Lock.

Sadly, during that day, in spite of the efforts of RNLI, coastguard, fire brigade and river authorities, the animal became too weak to rescue.

If only Minnie had been able to understand that those efforts of kindness, to coax it, and lead it and guide it, were all directed to provide freedom and life; the cool clear Atlantic waters whales are designed to enjoy.

Perhaps the raft did feel restrictive, perhaps at times the slings felt uncomfortable. How much trust would have been required for the whale to submit to its rescuer?

The bible tells us that we are just like Minnie: we want to be free, but think freedom is to be found by going our own way, the way we all choose by nature.

But the bible tells us that the way to freedom is actually not to escape, but to trust and submit to our rescuer the Lord Jesus.

He didn’t only spend hours of effort and skill to liberate us; he spent himself.

Jesus said: ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’

Why not turn and trust Him?

Reverend Mark Jasper, Campbeltown Community Church.