Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:1-6 (TNIV)
More thoughts for meditation
“Freedom” is a complicated rallying cry these days. It’s so abstract that it fits just about any movement (from the Tea Party to the Occupy Movement). We have to endure presidential debates over the next few weeks where “freedom” is used as a catch all word for just about anything the candidates want to jam down our throats. John Howard Yoder notes that the American meta-narrative (founded by a few white men sometime around 1776-1789) claims that “freedom” meant…“the end of submission to a king, of taxes they deemed unfair, or control of thought and expression.”
He continues (and catch this…it’s central to being an American)…“They understood freedom as liberating from outside influence; their idea was that if the outside hindrance could be removed, their freedom would be achieved.“
Of course Jesus is into something else. Howard concludes…“The freedom of the Christian is not freedom from as much as freedom to: what matters is not from what we are freed, but for what.“
When contextualized into how we think about sharing as Circle of Hope, we are saying that “sharing our resources brings freedom.” It is not the hoarding of but the letting go of that end goal of the American meta-narrative, namely the accumulation resources (land, money, intellectual property), that contributes to our real freedom. It frees us, not primarily from something (though it does that too), but it frees us to actually do something generative in the world (like our expressing our faith through love).
Suggestions for action
Declare your freedom today. Tell us all (in the comments) what sharing your resources frees you to do.