Freedom, Galatians 5: 1, 13-26

Posted by Greensboro United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 30, 2019

I am sure that there will be preachers in this country today who will read our text for this morning and wax eloquently about how Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia so handsomely compliments the writings of our Thomas Jefferson. They will make little distinction, if any at all, between the two different understandings of freedom that caused these men to write. When they are finished, they will have fashioned a seamless garment running from the pages of scripture to Independence Hall. God bless America and happy Fourth of July!
Yet, just as Jefferson was not writing about Freedom in the way Paul understood it, neither was Paul writing about freedom in the way that we have come to understand that Jefferson was writing it.
The freedom about which Paul is writing will never expect that anyone created in the image of God be counted as 3/5ths of a human being. The Freedom about which Paul is writing will not result in the desolation and decimation of over 500 indigenous people groups.
For Paul, Freedom is Christ. In Christ, there is no need for Christians in Galatia to observe tenets of the Jewish faith, or any other religious system for that matter, in order to be loved by God. That has happened in Christ. Christ is sufficient. Jesus is enough. In that Freedom, there is welcome and room for all.