Thursday, July 16, 2015

free: five minute friday

It's time for Kate Montaung's Five Minute Friday; "free" is this week's word. How does it work? Write for 5 minutes, unedited.

 free

In scripture and from the USA's Founding Fathers the words freedom and liberty sound and resound. The Apostle Paul talks about the glorious liberty of the children of God; John the gospel writer tells us if the Son Jesus Christ makes us free, we will be free indeed. Scripture most often uses "eleutheria" for freedom; eleutheria carries more of a Thomas Jeffersonian accent on liberty than a Fourth of July / Independence Day emphasis on freedom—from oppression, captivity, from control by other governments: a free country is not a colony, free people are not colonials.

God charges us to, Jesus insists we obey the Ten Commandments of the Sinai Covenant. "To be saved, keep the commandments!" But does following the demands of the commands bind us so tightly we have no space, no freedom to move or act on our own, do the commandments constrict us rather than free us? We can use the example of the broad limits of bounded freedom: we have agency to act, move, create, and be anyone, anything, and anywhere we desire, as long as we do not violate and move beyond those outer limits. Martin Luther's detailed exposition of each of the Ten Commandments in his Large Catechism might make any of us almost despair of being obedient and living free at one and the same time, but obeying the commandments (sometime Jesus' encapsulated version, "Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength; love your neighbor as yourselves" seems simpler and easier to follow) is similar to the citizen of a country such as USA, Canada, Germany, UK, etc.: these are free countries with free citizens, as long as everyone live and acts within the measured boundaries of the laws of the land.

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1 comment:

Denise said...

enjoyed this, bless you.