Set Free to Be Free
Tim: This February we’re all about freedom at Gather.
Shea: Yes! Liberation Theology—so excited that we’re exploring this topic in more detail.
Tim: Well, we’re both liberation theologians. That’s the seminary tradition we’ve been schooled in.
Shea: And as children of Pentecostals, our faith is steeped in freedom and faith in a God who steadfastly stands with the poor and weak and marginalized. The fervor that springs from that idea was common currency where I grew up.
Tim: Yes, we just didn’t know there was a name for it. Seldom did a Sunday go by without our church breaking out in songs of freedom. You could set a service on fire with “I’m So Glad Jesus Set Me Free”!
Shea: There’s a Golden Oldie! Yet there’s the more to consider, right? The songs and shouts are just the tip of it. A powerful theology gives weight to everything.
Tim: It took years for all of it to coalesce and find a name, “Liberation Theology.”
Shea: Actually it emerged from Latin America, where corrupt regimes were destroying lives. Widespread poverty and oppression triggered a kind of faith that enabled people of South and Central America stand against the evil surrounding them. Their premise was beautiful: God sides with the poor, the oppressed, the powerless and marginalized.
Tim: When we look at scripture and watch God work, we inevitably find God’s presence revealed among the least in society. Why is that?
Shea: That’s a great starting question. When we think about that, our thoughts go to justice. God is just and righteous. But as we’ll see in this week’s study, it’s even more basic than that.
Tim: How so?
Shea: God is life. That’s what we mean when we say and sing things like “My life is not my own.” God isn’t merely the Giver of life. God is life itself. Our lives belong to God because God is life. Once we accept that, we have to confess all life is sacred. Our privilege and power shrivels against the sheer force of life itself, of God’s self.
Tim: So God doesn’t merely “side” with the least among us. God is the least among us, because even those whose struggles are greatest are alive.
Shea: Exactly. And trying to impose limits or oppress any other human is a kind of death because it undermines life itself.
Tim: That’s where we’ll start this series—the God of life, or better yet, the life of God.
Shea: We need to plug back into that idea!
Join us each Thursday in February as we plug back into freedom with our new series, “Set Free to Be Free: Liberation Theology.” We meet at 7:30pm CST at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake Street, Oak Park with live-streaming via FB Live.
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.