Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Freedom in Christ
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Life by the Spirit
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Living with the yoke of Christ and being guided by the Spirit offers a fresh perspective on life. The Great Commandments clearly identify the focus of faithful living. ‘Loving your neighbour as yourself’ calls us to live with a heart for community, generosity, service to others and all God’s creation, kindness and understanding, acting with justice, seeking wellbeing for all in God’s realm, and being peacemakers. Rather a fulsome list! It also calls for a lifelong commitment, and focus, with unconditional love and dedication to faith. Jesus taught the Way of living. The Spirit grows in us the ‘tools’ we need, the fruit of the Spirit. When we live in God’s way, instead of a ‘fulsome list’ being a burden, we receive as well as give. We are inspired, rewarded with joy, build positive relationships, offer hope and experience hope, heal and are healed, loved and are loved. A faith-filled life is such a gift!
Prayer of Confession
Jesus, show us your Way.
We have been frustrated and irritated,
and not shown your patience.
We have been disbelieving of some and disregarding of others,
and realize that we have burdened them with hurtful judgement.
Our generosity has come with expectations
and our forgiveness has not always been unconditional.
Place your yoke across our life
so that we may find balance as we carry what is required.
Guide us and teach us, as we need to learn from you.
Speak into our hearts the Word of Life
so that we live in your Way of Love.
Words of Assurance
Spirit of Wisdom speaks into our lives.
Listen carefully. Listen deeply.
Take moments to hear her voice.
For God goes before us and knows our needs.
Jesus’ Word offers insight and truth.
Meditate in prayer, and allow God to lead you.
All shall be well.
Commissioning and Benediction
People of God, be filled with certainty:
God loves you and is with you.
Jesus is your companion each day, and
Wisdom Spirit breathes into your life,
filling you with the fruit of the Spirit.
Live with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
As you live in this way, you will also receive.
It is a joy to live with our God.
Go, and share this the Good News.
Let us celebrate a life well lived with God!
© Rev Anne Hewitt 22/06/2022
This reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.