Friday, October 24, 2014

Reformation Sunday - John 8:31-36

John 8:31-36
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose; Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free” (Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee) is a great line until she sings “I’d trade all my tomorrow’s for a single yesterday” which is to say a freedom of nothing left to lose that is inextricably bound to the past is no freedom at all. “We are descendants of Abraham” depends on the past in a way that the God of Abraham never intended for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a God of the living and not the dead (Matthew 22:32) So these words spoken to those “who believed in Jesus” were meant to move them from the single yesterday into the tomorrow that Jesus came to establish. “If the Son has set you free you are free indeed.” We might be tempted this Sunday to claim we are descendants of grace and have never been slaves to the law but that would not be the truth. We justify ourselves by our piety and heritage and interpretation of the scriptures in the same way other traditions justify themselves by claiming to be more faithful and true than we are. I’m not saying we should stop singing “A Mighty Fortress” or embossing our bulletins with Luther’s seal or wearing red on Reformation Sunday. But continuing in the word for us means we allow the Word to shape us so that reliance on the past is not as important as living into the future in such a way so as living Christ means we trade yesterday for living tomorrow today. 

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