21
Dec
08

“In his name all oppression shall cease”

peaceAt church today we sang the old hymn “O Holy Night”. Today one line stood out to me. We sing about Jesus’ birth and we proclaim this interesting truth:

“IN HIS NAME ALL OPPRESSION SHALL CEASE!”

In Jesus’ name ALL oppression shall cease. All of it. All oppression in the whole world. Shouldn’t it have said something like: “some oppression will cease some day …maybe… possibly…at least in some places…and in a number of people…definitely maybe….“.

Some people may even take offense when they hear a line like that, because their experience is the opposite. The feel oppressed and burdened by people who claim to follow Jesus. Many atrocities have been committed in the name of Christ, and it’s hard for people who have been hurt to see the truth about Christ as the Freedom giver. 

I love Jesus’ mission statement in Luke chapter 4, verse 18-19 where he stands up and quotes Isaiah 61:1-2, and says the following about why he has come to the earth:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

He came to set the oppressed free. How thankful I am that this is true. For more than 20 years I mistakenly thought that Jesus “just” came to set people, including me, free from Satan’s power and free from the punishment of sin (eternal condemnation in hell). This is part of the good news of Christ, but it’s only some of it. He also came to give me life today. And he has. And he is. He is setting me free from lies, misunderstandings and wounds in my life that use to define my relationship with him, with myself and with other people. He is tangibly, even for a slow learner like yours truly…, giving me more and more freedom and peace. He is doing exactly what he promised in the Scripture from Luke/Isaiah: He is preaching the good news of freedom, peace, joy, meaning, and purpose today, tomorrow and forevermore to me who is poor in myself. I can’t make myself experience abundant life. I am dependent on Christ within me – he is my only hope of glory! 

He is bringing me to places in my walk with him, where I get to experience more freedom. It’s a road of brokenness, and it’s a road with many tears, but it’s bringing me real freedom. I can feel free, and peaceful in the midst of hard times and good times. And he is opening my eyes to see more and more of who he really is. He is not the distant, disinterested, harsh God that I imagined most of my life. He is very different. And he has begun to reveal more and more of the truth about who he is, and who I am in him to me. 

Hopefully that’s what you see when you read through many of the blog entries on this page. It’s thoughts, insights, revelations, questions, frustrations, fun stuff, and randomness from a young(ish) man from Denmark who is on an interesting journey with Jesus Christ, who is not only the reason for the season, as the bumper stickers proclaim, but he is the reason for my life, my joy, my peace, my experience of love, and my hope for today, tomorrow and the rest of eternity. 

I wish all of you dear readers a very Merry Christmas! May you meet the child in the manger and see that he is the Messiah. He is the promised one. He is the one who is setting people free. And may you see your own freedom and Christmas peace in him!

Merry Christmas!

Torben

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1 Response to ““In his name all oppression shall cease””


  1. 1 Betty
    December 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Torben, I agree!
    “Spot on” wonderfully comes to my mind!
    And, I am thinking of the rest Jacob must have learned to experience after his wrestling match!
    Yes…may Our Lord’s Peace be with, in, over, and for you!!!
    You and Jeannette hug each other for me!
    Enjoy!
    Soon…
    Betty


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