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Archive for October 4th, 2016


Galatians 5:1: In and for Freedom

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Girl jumping with rose petals in air

In freedom we are created. For freedom we must live.

In a season of intense political turmoil in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, we might be tempted to commandeer the word freedom to use it as best suits our views. Today we have the opportunity to examination Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and to reflect on a spiritual meaning of this concept.

Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again. (GNT: GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION)

We might ask: Slaves of and for what? Slaves to a way of living that bears much fruit for me and little for others? Does this freedom come with, or in spite of, the exclusion of others?

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (NRSV: NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION)

We might ask: Slaves of whom? The opinions of my neighbors? The viewpoints of my colleagues? Are we slaves to an affiliation that demands complete loyalty or one  that offers openness and inclusion?

Stand fast, and be not held again under the yoke of bondage. (DRA: DOUAY-RHEIMS AMERICAN VERSION)

We might ask: Freed by who and how? When did Christ set me free? Why? How was I previously enslaved?

So Christ has made us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get all tied up again in the chains of slavery to Jewish laws and ceremonies. (TLB: LIVING BIBLE)

We might reply: God has freely and lovingly chosen to create us out of God’s free will and ample heart.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (MSG: THE MESSAGE)

We might reply: We are made in the image and likeness of God; and this gift God gives us to cherish or to squander.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (NASB: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

We might reply: We must free one another from the constraints of gossip and plots.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (KJV: KING JAMES VERSION)

We might reply: We must free one another from deceit and betrayal.

We have freedom now because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law. (ICB: INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BIBLE)

freedomWe are creatures created in freedom by our fully-free and generous God to live a fully-free and fruit-bearing life. We must offer autonomy to others even as we are offered this same precious gift. We must live by true self-determination wherever we journey, break chains wherever we live and work, heal the wounds of bondage wherever we play and pray. For if we truly believe in freedom all the world will know, because we will offer one another this same generous and life-giving gift.

In freedom we are created. For freedom we must live.

Use the scripture link to compare other translations of this verse, or enter the word freedom into the blog search bar for more reflections.

 

 

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