“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” -Psalm 107:14-16
We’re discussing four promises during our Advent season, and this is number two: Your chains are broken in Jesus’ name. The burden that you carry: I’m not enough, I’m guilty, I’m a sinner, I’m an addict—those are chains. You may feel guilty every day, or even feel guilty for not feeling guilty—which is a burden! But your chains will be broken in Jesus’ name. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the French philosopher, wrote that “man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.” We make all sorts of mistakes and moral blunders that sometimes may harm and even ruin other people’s lives. One of the worst things about living in a sinful, fallen world is that even though none of us are going to be perfect, we beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. We chronically feel the mistakes that we make in our life, and we build them into chains that affect our lives and the lives of others. Perhaps the worst chain we create is the guilt and shame that we feel from our wrongdoing. You can break the chains of sin in your life, and you can also break the chains of shame. That’s why we proclaim the gospel, the good news of the cross and resurrection. Your chains are broken because of Jesus.
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for breaking my chains. Because of your sacrifice and grace, I don’t don’t have to carry the burden of shame and guilt. Help me to remember this when I make mistakes.
REFLECTION: Are you hard on yourself when you make a mistake? Do you get weighted down by shame and guilt? Try to remember that Jesus breaks your chains the next time you make a mistake.