Lived as Story
Mar 15, 2010 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments
Paul could write about freedom because he had experienced the transformation from slavery under the law to freedom in Christ. The Galatians had experienced freedom through the gospel but were submitting again to the yoke of slavery to the law. Two stories moving in opposite directions provide a plot that draws us in because we see ourselves in both dramas. Paul, aware of his own story, was free to enter into the Galatians’ story with a bold presence. He had been where they were headed and used his own story as the strongest argument for the life of Spirit and grace. This was because his story was part of The Story—God creating a loving community of freedom called the Church. Like the Galatians we are tempted to turn spiritual formation into formula, rule keeping, a series of steps, or a to-do list. But the Christ-in-me life is a one-of-a-kind story. Rules, steps, and list can be copied without limit, but as Friedrich von Hugel said, “There are no dittos among souls” or, I might add, their stories.
O God, I long to live my story as a full participant in your great Story of redemption and freedom. Amen.
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us—we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you.