Freedom in Bondedness

Sunday, July 2, 1995
| Galatians 5:1, 13-25

There is a paradox at the heart of the Christian faith -- that we are most free when we are tied to Christ and surrendered to the Spirit.

Americans love to celebrate Independence Day, to flaunt their freedom before the whole world. Thomas Jefferson's bold assertion that each individual has an "inalienable right" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" still sounds sweet to our freedom-loving ears. Despite the imperfections and foibles of our political system, we still enjoy tremendous economic freedom, political freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom and communal freedom. But we must be careful that we don't define the freedoms we enjoy so much solely as "freedom from" -- forgetting that the real test of freedom's value is how we use our "freedom to."

Paul's caution to the Galatians in this week's epistle text likewise reminds us that sometimes our greatest liberation can be found in our commitments; in our freedoms to. There is our freedom to gather together for the benefit of others, our freedom to love and serve each other and our freedom to express our feelings, concerns, hopes and aspirations for...

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