A New Day

fullsizeoutput_b59

Galatians 5

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

*******

Yesterday was a good day.

Earlier in the week I wondered.

********

I will go through Galatians Chapter 5 completely.

I will go through Galatians Chapter 5 fruit by fruit, love.

*********

Galatians Chapter 5 starts this way.  I wish I could ignore parts of it, especially verse 12.  But it’s all part of the whole context.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion,whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Paul is talking to a time, place, and people where circumcision defined and set apart one man from another.  It determined who was “in” from who was “out”.

********

The Sneetches.

Many books have I read over the last 18 years.  Many books have I read over and over and over to my children.  Most of the books were read as part of a bedtime routine – which included each of us picking our favorite for the day.

Many books I love.

One of the best of the best is “The Sneetches”.

One group of Sneetches with stars on their bellies are better, are in, are it.  The star-less ones want to be like the starred.  A crafty man comes into the picture with a machine that can put stars on their bellies.  And of course the star-less ones pay the price to get stars on their bellies.

*********

Paul says to those who want to go through the machine (circumcision)…Paul says, “Don’t do it.”  Don’t change who you are beautiful Sneetches.  Paul says, God loves us so much.  God loves us so much he sent Jesus.  The Western interpretation of this message is that God sent Jesus to die so we could be saved.  ehhhh…..partly – that’s called atonement theology.

I’m not sure God specifically sent Jesus to die on a cross….I do think Jesus came to this world to demonstrate what love means to God.  And in some cases, love means you will die.  And in some cases love means you will die, undeservedly at the hands of false accusers.  Metaphorical death happens quite a bit to those who follow Jesus.

It’s called “dying to self.”  — I digress.

If you think having a star, being circumcised, following rules, or (in my case) behaving a certain way will win over anyone or anything in a meaningful way….

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Laurie just connected me with this song “Only Love”…..No need for me to fumble over unnecessary words….this song hits the nail on the head.

 

 

Love IS a fruit of the spirit….AND love is a seed….without the seed, no fruit.