Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Set Free to Be . . .

Galatians 5:1-15   Lamentations 5   Psalm 147

“For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). So Paul summarizes the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. And this as we read a lament and prayer for freedom offered by an enslaved people (Lamentations 5) alongside a psalm praising God, who graciously “gathers the outcasts” and “lifts up the downtrodden” (Psalm 147). For freedom Christ has set us free. And what is the nature of this freedom? From what are we freed? And for what purpose? Such are the questions raised and addressed in today’s readings . . .

“Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored” (Lamentations 5:21). Note with great care the relational nature of this prayer: “Restore us to yourself.” Is this not what God does in Christ Jesus? Isn’t this the point of the story of God with us? That God, in love, was “reconciling the world to himself” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19), thereby setting us free to love? Relational restoration. What the law could never do, love does — setting us free to live in love. At the core, then, we are called to relational freedom, as we are released from rules and regulations for loving relationship with God and one another. This, beloved, is the freedom to which we are called (Galatians 5:13):

“The only thing that counts is faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Faith “expressed in” love. Faith “made effective” through love. In Christ, God sets us free to love. And this, then, is both the nature and purpose of our freedom. Far from an “opportunity for self-indulgence” (v.13), the freedom for which Christ has set us free is a freedom to be people who, through love, live love. Not license. Love. Remember Jesus’ own summary of the law: Love God wholly and love your neighbor as yourself. May we be people who always hope in God’s steadfast love (Psalm 147:11). May we express our faith in the love of God by living love. And may we forever sing the song of love. Freely. With thanksgiving. Amen.

“Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for God is gracious,
and a song of praise is fitting.”
— Psalm 147:1

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