Galatians 5:13

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6 May, 2024




You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.


I wonder if we really understand freedom the same way today as people might have done even as little as 50-60 years ago.

It was only in 1961 when newly elected U.S. President John F. Kennedy, gave his famous inaugural speech inspiring a new generation of Americans with the following words,"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." It was this kind of attitude that began the Apollo space program and although it only achieved its goal of landing a man on the moon after Kennedy's assassination, it was these words and this kind of attitude that inspired the efforts of the American people to work together to achieve that goal.

Fast forward to 2024 in the middle of campaigning for another American presidential election, also a general election gearing up in the UK, and a number of local state and territory elections and by-elections here in Australia and what do you mostly see? Politicians making a pitch to their constituents about how their agenda and their political party's priorities are going to benefit them as individuals. We have seen over the decades a slow deterioration of social cohesion and concern for the good of others and the community as a whole, and an increase in instead, in our prioritising and valuing the rights of the individual over almost everything else. It is, in many ways, the natural conclusion to ignoring the warning of Paul in today's reading.

Friends, we are free to consider and tend to the needs of others because we know that in Christ, all that is really needed has been taken care of for us already. We are free to serve one another humbly in love, because Jesus, our Lord and saviour has already done exactly that for us. I think if Jesus had access to JFK's speech writing team, we might have heard him say something like this, "ask not what your neighbour can do for you, but what you can do for your neighbour."

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help me to understand what it means to be truly free. Help me to recognise that my freedom is not about doing what I want, but rather being freed from the sin and selfish desires of my heart so I can be free to life the way the Father always intended, in communion with you and others. Amen

Today's devotion written by Mathew von Stanke, LifeWay Newcastle