Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

I'm still pondering last Sunday's readings...

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul talked a lot about freedom (vs slavery) both in the literal sense and figuratively. I have no way to relate the experience of literal slavery, either as an owner or as one owned. I know about prejudice, but slavery? Even my active imagination can't wrap itself around the degradation of that kind of possessiveness.

The early followers of Jesus came from all sections of society, but especially from the marginalized: the poor, the slave, the disenfranchised. Many of them had next to nothing to lose, they'd already lost everything. But some, like Paul, had a lot to lose. Jesus made no bones about the cost of discipleship. he told his followers they'd lose family, status, even their lives if they followed him. Yet they followed him anyway. The freedom he promised was too real to ignore. The cost of that freedom is something I think about a lot.

Today is our nation's anniversary of freedom from European rule... a bold uprising in a backwater colony... Like the early Christians, the early Americans paid a huge cost for the freedom they achieved. I wonder if either group would recognize the current version of what their sacrifices produced?

No comments: