Readings: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 2 Samuel 7:1-17; Galatians 3:23-29
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:23-29, NRSV
Something happens to rules when human frailty comes into play. Rules become a way to divide the worthy from the unworthy, to judge the deserving and the undeserving. Instead of guides to fostering love and togetherness, they become a justification for our prejudices and our need to feel superior. In our short-sightedness, we enshrine the rules instead of the love they point us toward. What was supposed to unite and heal is used to divide and hurt. We honor the letter of the law while killing its spirit – and in the process, we harm the spirits of those who differ from us. In doing that, we harm ourselves.
But when we remember that we are all Christ’s own, we can honor the unique aspects of each person without using them as a way to measure his or her worth. When we remember that God claims us all, we don’t need to exclude others based on differences. And we don’t need a measuring stick to value our own self-worth.