Scripture:  Galatians 5:13-14  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 


Observation:  In writing to the Galatians, Paul is addressing a certain amount of Jewish tradition that had made its way into the church.  When Paul originally preached to those in Galatia, he preached a gospel of repentance and faith. But, some Jewish-Christians later told them God’s grace was secured through these Jewish traditions, like circumcision, and the new Christians were beginning to accept these traditions as truth.  Paul is reminding them that Christ has set us free through the cross. But, this freedom isn’t used as an excuse for continual sin or as a reason to pile requirements onto others. This freedom we have allows us to forget about the past requirements of the law, which frees up time for us to serve others.


Understanding:  I can be a little fanatical about things.  I like to consider myself “committed”, but if I am really honest about it, I am more fanatical.  I like to choose one thing and obsess over it until I have completely annoyed everyone around me about it.  For a while as a kid, this obsession was filled with Robin Hood. My obsession was fueled partly by the Disney animated movie of the story and by the archery set I inherited from my dad.  Either way, I was hooked on righteously living on the edge of the law, saving those weaker than me from the evil and oppressive rulers.


The other day, I helped a friend move out of his parents’ house.  It was a strange feeling, breaking the rules of “social distancing” to do what was once just a mundane activity.  I felt like the outlaw hero I once admired. I never thought I would live in a time where, even though it’s temporary, my freedoms would be so limited.  Though, it has made me realize how much of my freedom of movement before this was wasted in entertaining myself, and filling my time with pursuits that were primarily selfish.  It wasn’t until the ability to be with others was taken away did I realize how much I appreciate being around them.  


This time has brought new meaning to the call to put others before myself.  When it takes more intentionality to maintain unity, it makes me appreciate the freedom I had to meet with Christ’s body.  But, this time has also helped me to become more creative in meeting with God and others.  


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to continue to meet with others, even when that has become harder and harder.  Help me to look for unity, even though it feels as though the world is trying to break it down.  Help me to remember it is through your sacrifice that we are made to be one body (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).       

-Tyler Galloway