Daily Lectionary: Judges 16:4-30; Galatians 4:12-31
So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:31)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Abraham had two sons: Ishmael of the flesh, by Hagar, his wife Sarah’s slave, and Isaac of the promise, by Sarah. Full stop. Think about how humiliated Sarah had to feel giving her husband to her servant. She trusted God. He promised Abraham a child. She believed Him. She just figured she had to help. Ishmael, born of people trying their best. Your little league trophy lied to you. Trying your best isn’t good enough. The flesh is humiliating.
To stand before God based on what you can do is to live according to the Law. It is to live in slavery to what you cannot do, what you cannot be, what you cannot achieve. It is to exist in slavery to sin and death. Sinai is not a mountain of hope. It is not a promise of salvation. It is a bargain over earthly trinkets, and the inability to hope for something that outlasts them.
But Jerusalem above is free. She is our mother. You are free from the Law. You are free from slavery to the best you can do, to the strings attached. You are not a child of God based on what you can do or how you can help. You are a child according to the promise. You are a child of the Gospel. God has promised you adoption. A place of honor. A place not earned but given. A place for you. After all, you are baptized. This isn’t about your contributing, but about God’s delivering a promise.The forgiveness of sins. Rescue from death. Salvation. The hope of something that endures where everything else in this world fails. An identity apart from the humiliation of the Law, but in the glory God gives His beloved.
This isn’t a someday promise to finally receive when you leave this world. It’s a now promise. It’s a here promise. It’s a for you promise. It’s a Baptism. It isn’t just heaven that’s clothed in white robes. The Church militant wears them, too. The saints on earth are children of God. You have already been purchased from slavery, not with gold or silver, but with the holy and precious blood, the innocent suffering and death of Christ. Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery under the Law. Do not submit to the yoke of doing your best and the humiliation and death it brings. Live in the promise of freedom, given through your Mother Jerusalem, the Church, where God sustains you according to the promise. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
In the water, in the Word, In His promise, be assured: Those who are baptized and believe Shall be born again. Father welcomes all His children To His fam’ly through His Son. Father giving His salvation, Life forever has been won. (“Father Welcomes” LSB 605, st.2)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch