May 01, 2016

Freedom Writers

Luke 1:1-4

They were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

—  Luke 1:2

Solomon Northup was a free black man living in upstate New York until he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. He wrote down his story of struggle and determination to fight his way back to freedom. His 1855 memoir was called Twelve Years a Slave. Northup’s book was made into a motion picture in 2013.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom from Mary­land. His 1845 account, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, made him one of the few African Americans to write a bestseller in the 19th century. 

Northrup and Douglass were freedom writers. They had to tell their stories of freedom.

Luke was a freedom writer. A doctor by trade, he wanted to speak clearly about salvation.

We are all looking for freedom from bad habits and twisted hearts. Luke is a fitting guide if we are on the move for good news in this “24/7 bad news” world. Luke wrote his letter to Theophilus, a friend to whom he wanted to give an “orderly account” of the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus.

The good news always comes in a package marked “Open at your own risk.” The gospel always comes as a miracle—a surprise that human beings rarely see coming. The miracle of the gospel is that it’s too good to be true. But it is true, and it calls us to be active witnesses in the freedom story of the resurrected Christ.

Lord, only by grace have we heard your word today. Use us, by grace, to share your story with someone near. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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