If the gospel is good news (and it is) then let it be continually announced the hostage ordeal is over. Ordeal? What ordeal? Did we miss something?
Men and women of all brands are held hostage in trying to be what others want them to be. We are terribly shackled by expectations placed upon us by many who feel they know best. Many struggle to be the most and best they can be because both restrictions and demands have been handed over. The result is grown people in thirty and fifty year old bodies are stifled by someone's estimation of how they should act, where they should live, and what they should do.
As prideful as man is, we are an accommodating sort; even guilty of majoring in pleasing others. Who could guestimate the number of heroic and honorable individuals who, instead, dumbed down to the pestering tunnel vision of a parent or a friend. Henri Nouwen said it well when he wrote, As long as we allow our parents, siblings, teachers, friends, and lovers to determine whether we are chosen or not, we are caught in the net of a suffocating world that accepts or rejects us according to its own agenda of effectivity and control.
Whether I'm in the presence of one homeless or at a party of celebrities, I am very aware of the common thread which runs through every heart. People are fatigued by the pressure of trying to be what others expect. Jesus.....the man called Jesus.....offers great news that each can become what God can imagine.
Yes, the hostage ordeal is over!