Called to Freedom - Reflections 6-26-19

Texts for Sunday June 30, 2019
3rd Sunday after Pentecost 

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Psalm 16
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

I’m out of the office this week for a continuing event. 
Here are a few thoughts about the Galatians text. 

For freedom Christ has set us free.

For the Galatians to whom Paul was writing, it was freedom from needing to work for salvation, represented by the difference between Jews and Gentiles. In that setting, it therefore meant that the church was free from divisions of who is in and who is out –Jew or Gentile? 

What divisions do you see at work today? 

Whatever the divisions, Christ has set all free. 

So, from what are we freed? And, for what are we freed?

The lectionary text skips ahead a few verses:
…For you were called to freedom brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.  For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.’  

In an essay on Christian Liberty, Martin Luther put it like this: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.  A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”  

Does this make sense to you? Being free means you can become a slave?

What does the life of a Christian “living freely through Christ” look like? 

Paul goes on to give us an idea on how to do that without turning it into works-for-salvation. 

Live by the Spirit. And the Spirit will guide you.

What does that mean in your life?

Other places my mind wandered but didn’t land…

- What does this message feel like for people who actually live in slavery? 

And with July 4 looming and we pause to reflect on the remarkable freedoms of this country.  But what are we free to do? 
We are obviously talking about 2 different things. Does the Christian liberty discussed by Paul and Luther have any implications for our patriotic consideration of the US Independence?

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245