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Freedom in Christ
Texts: Galatians 5:1-15; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 8:1; Hebrews 2:14-15; Romans 8:4; 13:8
September 9, 2017

A Cooper’s Hawk became an unlikely sidekick to a Houston, Texas cab driver. The hawk sought refuge inside the man’s Lone Star Cab and refused to leave. “He just kind of hopped on in and doesn’t want to leave,” the driver said. “I’m not sure what to make of it.” William Bruso was stocking up on supplies ahead of Hurricane Harvey when he returned to find the bird sitting on his passenger seat.

“He looks like he’s scared. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” Bruso narrates in a YouTube video documenting the bird’s surprise visit. Bruso tried to shoo the hawk away, to no avail. The raptor later perched on the door of his parked car, still refusing to fly away. Bruso eventually took the bird inside his home and gave it chicken hearts to snack on. It didn’t take long for the feathered refugee to earn the name “Harvey the Hurricane Hawk” from Bruso and a flock of concerned online fans.

Harvey stayed in Bruso’s home overnight, then a worker with the Texas Wildlife Rehab Coalition scooped the bird up and took it to a shelter for professional care. “He’s been free to go, any time now, but they’re going to take him,” Bruso said as a woman with TWRC retrieved Harvey. “He may need to be rehabilitated so everyone knows he’s in good hands.”

A TWRC spokeswoman confirmed that the bird is “safe with a licensed rehabilitator.” She also shared a video of the hawk in a cage. “He has an injury that prevents him from flying, so he would not have survived the storm if he was not picked up.” The woman also notes that flooding prevented rescuers from reaching the wildlife center to perform an X-ray on the bird. Once the roads clear up, the hawk and other animals will undergo full checkups, she says. [1]

Where do you go in times of crisis? Harvey the Hawk determined that William Bruso was a reliable savior and found freedom with him. The Galatians found themselves trapped in a form of false imprisonment as a result of heretical teachers who tried to bind them with unbiblical rules of their own making. Our lesson this week shows that our safety, our freedom, is only found in Christ. Jesus frees us from the prison of legalism.

The natural overreaction to escaping from the bondage of legalism is to overcorrect into the opposite ditch of licentiousness. In a sense, no boundaries at all, is a type of bondage as well. An “anything goes” lifestyle also binds people into lives of misery and hopelessness. The only true balance in life is to find freedom in Christ; freedom to live by His plan for us which leads to hope and joy. Just as Harvey clung to William, we find our true safety and freedom by clinging to Christ.

~ cb

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/harvey-the-hurricane-hawk_us_59a2cd21e4b06d67e33833a9