Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 4: Year 2
Psalm 55; Psalm 138, 139:1-17(18-23); Eccles. 5:8-20; Gal. 3:23-4:11; Matt. 15:1-20
“But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3: 25 – 29)
For me, having no longer a disciplinarian means that being baptized in Christ, I become my own disciplinarian. It means that I should know well what it means to err on the side of love and compassion. Jesus is my plumb line. Jesus is the straight line, I am the crooked line struggling to be straight as I align myself with my Lord Jesus.
Paul gets rid of the human descriptors of ethnicity be it Jew or Greek. Along with these we can add black and white. We are no longer black or white. It is so hard to get us to realize this – on both sides. We have the Biblical story of Paul’s letter to Philemon about Onesimus and accepting him as a brother and no longer a slave. We also have the post Biblical account of Perpetua and her raising Felicitas from being her slave to being her sister in Christ. This is what it means to be “no longer” slave. It is important to note here that the slave has no vote in this freedom. No, it has to come from the conscience of the one who considers himself free – free to do the right thing.
All of this equally goes for male and female freedoms as well. God resides in both sexes. And we need what God has given us in both sexes. Male and female, we are both made in God’s Image. (Gen. 1:27)
From here we go back to Abraham, again, not genetically, but faithfully. Paul says, and I believe, we Christians are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. It must be remembered also that being Christian does not mean that we are better than non-Christians. It is the non-Christian that we serve and support and love as well. Ours is a humble walk as was Abraham’s and as was the walk of our Lord Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John