Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 8
June 30, 2013
I Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-21 St. Luke 9:51-62
The words form the first part of the lesson on Galatians today has significant power for me as I though about them and the church in general, and about St. Peter’s in particular. They speak to us in a time when our current society seems to judge that individual needs and concerns are overriding factors in living life.
And Paul points out quite openly that we are set free in Christ. And that freedom is absolute. However Paul also warns against embracing that freedom and using it as an excuse for self indulgence. And that is what separates our freedom in Christ from the more self centered, individualized freedom that the world would so easily call us to.
Paul calls us on the one hand to not submit to the yoke of slavery, but at the same times calls us to become slaves for one another. And I think that is the key message for us to take home today. We are called to be slaves to one another.
That is not an easy call to live out. All of us have the desire to want our own ways. And yet being a slave to others calls for us to put others ahead of us. It calls on us to see the best of others in all circumstances. It calls for each one of us to give up battling to be right.
As a slave to others, god calls us to let go of self and ego and to embrace the call to seek to severe Christ in each of those around us. All of you who have been in relationships with others know what this is like. It can be frustrating. It can be challenging. Sometimes it can seem like an impossible burden.