Our New Identity in Christ.
The news in Scotland this week has been full of pictures of trees in the Northeast blown down by Storm Malik on Saturday then Storm Corrie. A photo in a recent BBC News article showing a picture of thousands of trees toppled like toothpicks near Edzell is strangely beautiful, while at the same time representative of the destruction and disruption these storms have brought not just to forestry but to the lives of people who live in these areas.
This Sunday in Camphill we will be thinking a little about trees, not the kind that get blown over by winter storms, but of family trees and our identity. In many ways the whole of the book of Galatians is about identity, about a specific family tree, and who is part of this lineage.
Conclusions from Paul’s line of argument
Paul sums up in Galatians 3: 23 – 29 and 4: 1- 7, drawing some conclusion for us, from what he’s argued about in his letter to this point.
This week we are not going to look at both passages, but home in on Galatians 3: 23 – 29 and think about our new identity in Christ.
“in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith… you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.
What does this mean for us?
Famously Paul goes onto say:
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female”
Clearly, there are people who are Jewish and non-Jewish. Regrettably, slavery is still an injustice that entraps and destroys the lives of too many. Self-evidently, leaving aside contemporary debates about gender, there are people who are male and people who are female.
- So, what is Paul saying to us here, and what are the implications of this for how we understand ourselves individually and as a people?
- Does this make a difference to how we live, given we are called to live in and from God’s grace because we have received His grace?
These are just some of the questions this passage has thrown up for me. I wonder how you might answer them?