Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Galatians 2 & 3 What exactly is the gospel anyway??
I have a dear friend that is spending the summer in Mozambique working with a mission for children and the poor. As I read Galatians and the battles between the religious over the law, many of her emails from Africa come back to mind.
Over and over again she tells me that God's message is really just all about love and loving one to one, face to face. Where she is, there is no time for discussions of the law or of religion. Only showing love and letting others see God through that love is all that matters. Some days there is very little food and for many days there was no rain. There is witchcraft and true evil. Children are dying. Again, only love and faith get them through the day and bring people to the Lord. Not some fancy wordsmithing of the gospel. Just love.
I had a long day today - a good one, but found myself getting weary of the discussion in these two chapters of Galatians. I know that is not the spiritual thing to say, but perhaps it is my lack of tolerance for small talk or perhaps it is that the Galatians were making it all about them and not about God. I have never been one to get sucked up into purely philosophical discussions and religiosity affects me that way too. The religious battles of Paul's day must have worn him out too.
In the Message translation Galations Chapter 3 starts with "You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives." Paul is referring to the whole preoccupation with the law. Verse 9 states "anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure". This too refers to the law and how futile it is to try to keep from doing things that are wrong.
I'm not going to include the full post of both Chapters tonight. If you want to read it for yourself, here is the link to the BibleGateway site to the Message translation, which I find easiest to understand for the "non-scholar".
For me and my house, we will focus on LOVE and the giver of love. Learning to love, showing love and loving the unlovable. Now that.... is the message. It beats the law hands down.