Saturday, November 20th, 2010


Again, from the writer’s group; we were working on (the Lutheran’s) Reformation Sunday “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.”  Here’s my response:

How free am I in Christ?

What does it even mean to be free in Christ?

I’m clear that I cannot earn and will never deserve my salvation.  It’s simply a gift offered and received.

But maybe something needs to be said about the receiving?

I’ve probably said this before.  But the controlling image in my mind for grace is marriage.

I don’t deserve (and could never have earned) Anne’s love. But the gift of her love was offered and (so far) has been something I received.

But the receiving changes me.  If I love Anne, I live differently.  I choose to do, some things at least, because I know they will please her.  And I avoid doing other things I know will hurt her.

I do this as myself.  A real turning point in our relationship [as I remember it] came when she broke up with me, I think right after I asked her to marry me, and we reconciled (within a couple of days).

What she told me was, “You are not my Prince Charming …” — which was why we broke up.  “But,” she continued, “I love you anyway.”

So I was free to be me, and still be loved.

Maybe God has created me to be someone in particular.  Maybe I am most fully myself as I become that person.  But it isn’t primarily about rules and expectations.  it’s about love and relationship.

And I’m free to be me.

I’m free to become myself.

At my own pace.

Lived out in a loving relationship.

I’m thinking that’s what it might mean to be “free indeed in Christ.”

 

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Can’t remember the cartoon (about bankers) that was the genesis for this.  But this is from my last participation with my clergy writing group:

What is it about bankers and other “owners” of finance and production?  They seem to feel that their well-being supersedes and is necessary to the well-being of others.  So rules and justice and fairness simply don’t apply to them.  And their importance is such that they need to be rewarded on a scale that they would never consider applying to other people.

Or is this just human nature?  I could argue that there are may Christians, and even people of other religions, who may play on a different, non monetary field, but who also see themselves as outside of the normal rules with spiritual recompense due them that would never apply to others outside their special group.

And I would bet I could say the same thing for champions of the underdog, whether we’re talking animals or the poor or the unborn.

So maybe the question to ask myself is this:  do I want to apply this expectation I have across the board to everyone?  Could I live with this?