Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Galatians 3:6-14 (NRSV)
Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I’m taken with the eighth verse in the above passage because the scripture is personified. How cool is that! It is a concept we find throughout scripture. (See 1 Peter 1:23 or Hebrews 4:12, for example.) However, in those passages, scripture is defined as living. In today’s passage, we see that scripture acts as only a living being can by foreseeing and announcing. This is more than our human intellect can grasp.
Some writers have protested that the personification must be considered metaphorical, since scripture did not yet exist when the announcement occurred. But I believe it is merely beyond our understanding, like the concept from John’s Gospel of Jesus acting with God and as God at Creation and then being born to us, Word made flesh. I am so glad we cannot fathom it, that we can only believe it as a mystery that cannot be held except by faith.
Paul reminds us that Abraham’s faith alone allowed him to become our adoptive father and that by our faith alone we become Abraham’s heirs. How sad for those of us who struggle with accepting such freedom! How sad for those who turn the gospel into law and live as if under a curse. Praise Jesus who redeemed us from the curse!
Most merciful God, how can we thank you for the unfathomable gift of Jesus? Help us, we pray, to accept such a marvelous mystery by faith. Increase our faith, so that we may feel greater freedom to love and to serve. In your holy name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.