Saturday, June 17, 2006

Galatians 6:11-18

Paul’s concluding remarks reemphasize his main point to the Galations: They must reject the teachings of those who insist on the observance of ceremonial law and ritual in order to be saved.

Paul uses himself as an example of what is truly important. My favorite translation, from the Message (Galations 6:14 – 15), shows Paul’s passion: “For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do – submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!”
Paul’s eyes are fixed on the cross. He is free to live for God, to let God transform him into someone filled with new life – a life of the Spirit.

I love the idea of living such a life. If I can just center myself in front of the cross, if I can just keep my focus on Jesus, if I sincerely believe that His grace is sufficient, if I can just let go, if I can just let go, if I can just let go...

I remember when I was first learning how to drive. I worried about everything. Was the car too close to the dividing line on the road or too close to the shoulder? Was I supposed to look at the hood of the car or at the dividing line? Finally, Dad told me to keep my focus straight ahead, well beyond the hood of the car, and not to worry about anything else. That worked. I just needed to let go of the things that weren’t importing to driving a car successfully.

Heavenly Father, through your grace, may we let go of the incidentals. May we surrender ourselves to the new life of the Spirit, so that we, like Paul, may get on with “the serious living of this faith.” Amen.

Martha Olson

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