Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia reveals an essential element of the gospel: freedom. We all deeply want to experience freedom in our lives, in our very being. And yet, we live lives shaped by an alternative narrative to that which God is writing in the world - by news that is not good and lacks the freedom God intends. Boundaries and laws have been created to exclude, to control and bind the good news - which is meant for all people. Christ sets us free! Being formed in the ways of Jesus is about graciously receiving that freedom, in faith, through the Spirit. As we become more like Jesus, we become more human, more ourselves. We become known by God and Christ grows in us. This season of Pentecost, we make space for the Spirit to works among us, in the context of community, as we share our stories of freedom and are shaped by the good news. We experience freedom.
Week by Week:
April 28: Intro & Freedom within Christ (Galatians 1:1-12)
May 5: Freedom from the News (Galatians 1:13-2:14)
May 12: Freedom and Faith (Galatians 2:15-4:7)
May 19: Freedom in Being Known (Galatians 4:8-31)
May 26: Brunch
June 2: Spirit of Freedom (Galatians 5:1-26)
June 9: Freedom Experienced in Community (Galatians 6:1-18)
-Sit with today’s text. What is God revealing to you about the nature of freedom?
-What are the loudest alternative, not good news, narrative at play in your life today? How might Jesus meet you there and release you from the bondage?
-As you read the book of Galatians, consider substituting the word “allegiance” for faith. How does it change the reading of today’s text to dismantle the binary between faith and works - the not good narrative that has been at work in the church?
-In what ways have we been conditioned to see freedom as a negative, rather than the life-giving, good news of Christ?
-What has the Spirit been revealing to you about who you are and how are you experiencing freedom in being known?
Free of Charge by Miroslav Volf
Salvation by Allegiance Alone by Matthew Bates
The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight
The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner
One, album by Birdtalker
Through the Deep, Dark Valley, album by The Oh Hellos
*image credit: Amalia Howard