In Galatians, Paul repeatedly emphasizes that Christians are freed from the law. He goes to the extent of saying that if you seek to be justified by the law then you are severed from Christ (Gal 5:4). He even talks of having died to the law (Gal 2:19). Yet, here he asks the Galatians to serve one another through love, because by doing that they would fulfil the law! If they were free of the law, why should they care about fulfilling the law?
The best race I’ve ever run in my life was the 1500 metres in the 1991 “Mussoorie Olympics”, an inter-school competition held in Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie. I was running alongside many runners, but also against the reigning champion who was a shoo-in to win.
As we read through the gospels, we find that there are times when Jesus makes a claim about Himself but then also goes on to call those that follow him to live up to that claim themselves. One example is when Jesus says “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) but also goes on to say to those following Him “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)
In the Bible, right at the end of John’s gospel, you find an interesting dialogue between Peter and Jesus. Jesus, in effect, commands Peter to feed the sheep of God. Now this, among other verses, has become one of the hallmark verses when defining the role of the pastor of a Church.
There’s a new Bible plan that I’ve been reading, about being less offendable. I wanted to search my heart for pride and self-righteousness and try to channel my feelings and thoughts into something sustainable. It’s a superb study. It’s insightful, convicting and most importantly, rooted in Biblical truth.
Let’s face it; we’ve all been thrown for a toss. Our jobs, routines, studies, sleep patterns, livelihoods, right down to the way we interact with people. Our relationships have probably been through the wringer throughout this season, the season we call THE LOCKDOWN.
The psalmist is talking about the nations that had been made subject to Israel and were now scheming to free themselves from Israel’s rule. He warns them that their rebellion was not simply against Israel but against God, as God was the ultimate ruler of Israel.
“Do you feel valued by your organisation?” That’s what a friend asked me as I was leaving my job. My immediate answer was God seemed to be calling me towards something specific, and I had no complaints with my organisation. But the word “value” kept churning within me.
The pews are empty today. Dust covers the altar. Cobwebs drape the stained glass. Silence shrouds the parish grounds. There’s no ringing of the bell. No calls to worship. No ushers waiting at the door. No band doing warmups backstage. No smell of coffee wafting through the foyer.
I’m someone who enjoys the total lack of noise and crowds so the lockdown brought that kind of peace to my mind which I enjoyed (and still do) quite a bit. On top of that, the assurance that the environment wasn’t getting as polluted and perhaps the road accident numbers would reduce brought additional comfort.
My friend’s text surprised me. Laura and I had spent about two hours that afternoon volunteering at a local food bank in the Bay Area. I had seen a camera crew at the venue but did not give it much thought. Immediately, I grabbed my laptop and searched the website of the local news.