Daily Reflection: What a Mess | Galatians 4:24-26
This picture can be viewed symbolically, metaphorically, allegorically – there’s much more here than initially meets the eye! For these two women, these two mothers, are stand-ins for two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and only births children in chains. This is Hagar, totally. Hagar = Sinai, that famous mountain in Arabia, and furthermore, Hagar also equals Jerusalem here and now. For the city of Jerusalem is nothing but a slave to Rome, along with all of her kids. And in another surprising turn, Jerusalem above is the free woman – and this is our true mother. Galatians 4:24-26 | MAV
What a mess. When he was 75, Abraham had been promised by God that he would have an heir that would inherit the land of Canaan, and who, much more than that, would become the means through which all of humanity would be blessed. So Abraham stayed. And waited. And waited. Ten years pass. Still no hint of an heir. He’s now 85. Sarah is now 75. Time is seemingly running out on the promise – if it’s not already gone. Abraham’s wife Sarah makes what probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Make her Egyptian slave girl Hagar a surrogate mom and thus Abraham’s legal wife as well. It made sense. It’s what people in that culture did in such situations. Abraham listens. A son is born after travail on multiple levels. But still the plan worked! Or so it seemed. But then God announces to Abraham that no, it’s not through Ishmael or through Hagar. And when Ishmael is about fourteen years old, Abraham has the long-awaited son through Sarah that was in God’s playbook the whole time. Soap operas can’t make this stuff up. So much of the history of redemption reads like a soap opera – too much of it like a bloody, violent soap opera. Messy spirituality. Messy people with messy families in messy situations through which God brings healing to the comprehensive mess of all humanity. Our God is a God of the mess. Perhaps now is a good time for us to acknowledge his presence in the midst of whatever mess we are facing.
What messy, sticky, icky situations are you facing right now? How can you seek God’s presence in the midst of it?
Lord, thank you for being a God who is in the midst of the mess as an empowering, transforming presence of grace. In the mess of this day, let me seek your face, pursue with faith your best for me and all those in the midst of it. Through Jesus.
The whole text this week is Galatians 4:21-31. Read it daily in it’s entirety from a few different translations if possible. You can get the full background of Abraham’s story in Genesis chapters 16-21.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.