It's a little early to talk about Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but vivid imagery of Jacob Marley stumbling into Scrooge's mansion, chains dragging across the floor, comes to mind when I hear Crowder's song Lift Your Head Weary Sinner. Just as Marley came as a warning to Scrooge, the song chides us for walls built 10,000 burdens high keeping us bound by chains of sin.
In concert the clang of the chains is even more powerful, reminding us of our former bondage. The key is, the chains represent a former bondage, a slavery to sin that is now dead and gone. How often do we carry around chains and manacles that have been unlocked?
The apostle Paul experienced chains: heavy reminders of his imprisonment. He was not bound to sin, but rather to Christ. His past and present circumstances were the platform of his ministry to others. Likewise our former bondage, when in submission to Christ, can result in freedom for others.
And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:14 (NIV)