Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Galations 4:21-31

Even though America is built on foundations of freedom and is constantly fighting on its behalf, it's interesting to consider how often we find people resisting this freedom and yearning for enslavement. At first this may seem like an odd concept, but we all do it; there are always times when time and creativity is running short, so we just wish someone else would take care of our responsibilities for us. Or perhaps when our time and creativity runs short we simple turn to others’ templates and prescribed rules and tasks, mindlessly completing what needs to be done over and over again. I fall prey to this trap often; oftentimes I feel tired and just wish I could live according to someone else’s rules, and wish that someone else would just tell me step-by-step what to do.

To some extent God does tell us step-by-step what to do: Do not lie. Do not murder. Do not steal. There are also times when His commandments seem to fall resoundingly short (Is stealing justified in any situation? What exactly constitutes as a lie, anyway?). We read that through Jesus, we are now no longer “children of the flesh” or “children of the slave”—we are now “children of the free woman”. So we are free ourselves, just by being in Christ. But what does this mean exactly? What is the nature of this strange freedom?

It is the freedom to act upon our own, to take our lives into our own hands. It is our willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. It is not easy to take the blame when something goes wrong, but sometimes we just happen to get the credit for something that goes right. It is hard to give up the comfort of rules and regulations, or the reassurances of a never changing schedule and routine. The fact is that we no longer need any of these empty reassurances, because God has borne in us something much greater—His love. It sounds simple, but it is the whole basis upon which we are free children. God’s love frees us to love others, and that is what Christianity is all about. It is not about rules or regimes, or always doing what is right every single day. It is about loving others, no matter what the cost or inconvenience. It is making time for others, and making certain to be with the needy and the lonely. It is about being free to give of ourselves to God’s children.

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