Daily Reflection: Sin’s Deacon | Galatians 2:17
S I N ‘ S D E A C O N Reflection 24 of 70
But if while seeking to so find our feet Christ it becomes painfully evident that all our religiously held distinctives, all our religious claims to fame, have collapsed into the dust leaving us in the same boat with the rest of humanity – all of us are outsiders and sinners alike – what then? Does this mean it’s a moral and religious free for all now, that it matters not what we do, where we go, who we are – that moral and religious anarchy is Christ’s promoted agenda now? Never. Not in a million years. No.
Galatians 2:17 | MAV
Christos harmartias diakonos? (Cree-stows ha-mar-tee-as dee-ah-koe-noes). It’s an excellent question. Now if we only knew what it means. We could render it, “Is Christ the deacon of sin?” That’s one of the ways we handle this Greek word diakonos in our traditional English translations. Unfortunately we capitalize it and make it into a church office and title. Another exercise in missing the point. The diakonos is the one who serves behind the scenes, doing those little things that are necessary to make the “big event” happen. When Paul asks, “Is Christ sin’s deacon?” the question is simply, in light of the fact that Jesus in his perfect doing and dying has made all religious systems driven by human performance irrelevant (or even malignant), does this mean that it’s now a religious and moral free for all? Is Jesus a promoter of religious and moral chaos, a peddler of anarchy? Former religious insiders might assume such. Paul has a simple, direct, two word answer that he uses on several occasions in his letters: me genoito! (may gen-oy-toe – practice saying this loudly; it’s catchy). May it never be. Not in a million years. God forbid. In your dreams, pal! Any of these will work in getting the sense. Just because Jesus has breached the dam that imprisoned us doesn’t mean his design is for the waters to rage over the banks below. The Jesus agenda isn’t anarchy. It is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
When we break the barrier of confining religious systems, how do we keep from having a “religious and moral free for all”? How would you define the “banks” that can contain and direct the waters flowing from the breached dam of an oppressive religious system? How do we find balance?
Abba, if there is a free for all in my life, let it be one of love, of justice, of multiplied and multifaceted mercies. Through Jesus.
Sometime this week, read Galatians again in one sitting.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.