Daily Reflection: Status Changer | Galatians 4:6-7
Sons! Daughters! Dignity! And being so owned as sons and daughters he breathed into our nostrils – into our hearts! – the Spirit of his Son, with the loud, unrepressed heart-cry, “Abba! Father!” Status change. No longer a slave, no longer a number. You are in a relationship. Son. Daughter. And if you are now in the Family, then through God’s doing you are also an heir in line for the goods that really matter. Galatians 4:6-7 |MAV
Theologians often contrast God’s transcendence, his otherness, the distance between him and us, with his immanence, his presence right here alongside us, with us, in us. Seems like we usually swing to one side or the other of this pendulum: God so “other” that he’s more impersonal Master than friend; a Master who in his sovereignty will do as he pleases, thank you very much – and you better just be thankful for it! And God so familiar that he’s more cuddly best buddy than the God who smokes and leaves us with hair singed and standing on end. Somehow it is grasping both, because this God who smokes has grasped us and called us his kids. “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). So Jesus told the twelve (actually, the eleven at that point; Judas was too busying acquiring silver to receive the pronouncement). So he tells us. So Paul tells the Galatians. So we desperately need to keep telling ourselves! Paul’s incredulity over the Galatians is simply this: how could anyone who had been a slave, hears the good news that she has undergone the ultimate status change to full-on beloved daughter then turn on her heel and go back to being religion’s chambermaid? But we do it all the time, don’t we?
When it comes to God, towards which end of the pendulum do you normally find yourself: God as distant, benevolent but demanding Master or God as present, loving and empowering Father? Do you think it’s important to remember both the transcendence and immanence of God? Why or why not?
How do we maintain that balance?
Jesus, thank you for calling me “friend.” Help me not to abuse the friendship! Show me how to truly be a good friend of yours this day in all my ways.
During these next weeks we are processing Galatians 3-4, be making your way through Abraham’s story in Genesis 12-25. This week you might also tack on Exodus 19-24.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.