Freedom, what does it mean? Does freedom really mean that you can do whatever you choose? Perhaps freedom is simply the ability to choose. Just because I choose not to do this or that does not mean that I am imprisoned by my self restraint, for I have the freedom to choose. Choosing requires a deliberate act of the will, we are free to do what we choose, however, if exercising that freedom takes us outside of what is acceptable by the law of the land for example, then we may have our freedom taken away, perhaps by imprisonment. At the point of breaking a law we have the freedom to choose, break the law, or keep it. If I have a job, I am free to go to work, or not to, I will get paid if I go but may not get paid if I choose not to go, and so all actions have reactions or consequences. This month as we look at freedom, we want to look at the freedom we have to choose to live in a certain way, the freedom that we have in Christ.In Jesus parable of the Prodigal, the son chooses to be a first century playboy, but when he has come to the end of himself, he realises that he has in fact not chosen freedom, but has been enslaved by it, and by his circumstances. When he approaches his father though, he is accepted even though he has disgraced himself and his father. We are always free to return if we earnestly want to, this is the freedom that we have in Christ, Jesus gives us the freedom to return to the Father and because we are in Christ we are accepted as perfect sons or daughters. In our prayers this month we will look at freedom. In week one, we are Freed for Choice, Freedom is one of the central building blocks upon which Jesus built his knowledge and revelation of God. He particularly used parables to teach people about the nature of God. The whole story of salvation centres around the God who delivers his people from bondage and sets them free. This freedom for us today is relevant as we find ourselves engaging with a society that is longing and searching for freedom. We are people in bondage to so many physical and psychological fears. This idea of freedom and making the right choices is woven into Scripture. Week two looks at being Freed for worship, Worship is the building block that enables us to have a purpose and meaning. God doesn’t require us to worship him, because in some way he is in need our adulation. God is self contained he doesn’t need anything from us. However he knows we need to give in order to ‘be’. Freed to serve in week three, understands that at the heart of true worship is the desire to serve. This idea is no where better illustrated in the bible than in the classic parable that Jesus told about the sheep and the goats. This week we will think about the teaching that Jesus gives relating to serving the poor. This should be motivated from love as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 13 In week four, Freed to live, The real significance of the gospel is that God calls us to engage with life and to enjoy life to the full. This often happens most as we embrace service in the kingdom. Freed to celebrate, in week five we want to explore the idea that everyday is a celebration of God’s goodness and provision for us. If we allow the parables of the Kingdom to speak to us we discover that Jesus speaks of God’s Kingdom innumerable times in terms of a great feast or celebration. Knowing how to celebrate life seems to be an important part of living out radical and vital Christianity.