Advent Meditation Fourth Tuesday

Prayer

Shepherd of Israel,
may Jesus, Emmanuel and son of Mary,
be more than just a dream in our hearts.
With the apostles, prophets, and saints,
save us, restore us,
and lead us in the way of grace and peace,
that we may bear your promise into the world. Amen.

 

Scripture

Galatians 4:21-5:1

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[a] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,[b] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

 

Meditation

“They can never take our freedom!” William Wallace.  “Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.” Albert Camus. “Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.” Abraham Lincoln

We like freedom and aspire to it.  We pursue it and proclaim it.  It is our right and our destiny.  Sadly, we define freedom in a way that tends to lead to bondage.  When freedom is the ultimate in our own direction for our own pleasure then we will dehumanize others and elevate ourselves.  We will build systems and structures that we hope will give us power which we inevitably believe provides freedom.

In the in between, the now and not yet, this pursuit denies the power of self-sacrifice.   We see our freedom as the means to make sense of the world around us.  Freedom is transformed into a cry of, “I want it my way! And everyone needs to be ok with it!”  It is a pursuit for control.

One of the strongest sign of true freedom is when we submit our desire for the benefit of others.  When we trust that God is the one in control so my reach for it is not needed; trust in God’s loving control provides us ultimate release and freedom.  We don’t need to prove our self, we are already approved.  We don’t need to control others because our desire is to serve them.  We don’t need to belittle others to elevate ourselves because God has already lifted us up and places us in the place of honour.  We are created from freedom.

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