Freedom for Captives

[Jesus] stood up to read,
and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
 Luke 4:16b-19, NIV
I am in the ministry today because of the knowledge that within many of us is not only the rebel in need of forgiveness but an abettor as well: a wounded soul that is also an obstacle to faith and in need of being led out of the prison house. Today this freeing of the captives is often referred to as a healing ministry, but even so, it should be understood as merely a vital part of the gospel ministry that has been seriously neglected, if not lost… In the cross of Christ is forgiveness for the rebel and healing for the traumatized and wounded soul as well.  I am in the ministry because of the sure knowledge that this healing comes in and with taking our place in Him, the very identification with Christ that is at the heart of baptism and of our ongoing empowerment to live out our lives in that baptismal reality.  [1]
Most of us in this life absorb some serious soul-wounding, and it needs to be tended to.  Damage in our souls distorts who we are, restricts our capacity to know God and others, and holds us captive to the worst of what we’ve experienced in this life.  Seeking healing for our souls is not primarily about feeling better, but is about getting free so that we can live as vibrant people of faith.  The awesome truth is that our ordeals and injuries can be healed – Jesus has already accomplished it on His cross and desires to bring us into the wholeness He won.  Let us take our place in Him: our healing place, our whole place, our free place.
Holy God, we thank You that You have indeed conveyed us out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son of Your Love.  Thank you for Your gaze of mercy that sees not just a willful rebel, but also a wounded son or daughter.  Thank you for Your passion to heal those wounds and free our faith.   Give us all we need to choose healing, to take our place in You.  Fill us with Your Spirit that we may have power to stand in You, rise with You, and collaborate with You fully.
[1] Leanne Payne, Heaven’s Calling (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2008), 88.
Painting:  R. Pistoni, 1872, A woman in bed in a sick-room, attended by a physician, receiving the blessing of the Madonna del Parto. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.