Monday, July 30, 2012

No Longer Slave or Free

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:23-29

Today, for the very first time, I was able to ride my bicycle without my right foot flopping off or tremendous pain. Since before my back surgery, my ability to ride has been very limited. Riding a bike is something very basic to me, and it was a treasured bike that brought Mark to Cape May Point for the very first time. Biking is part of my spiritual experience as well as physical, and the joy of finally riding again brought tears to my eyes. I felt freed from the bondage of pain and illness, and although I have a long way to go to be completely strong again, I feel like I am making some progress.

The letter to the Galatians reminds me today how easy it is to separate ourselves from others by ethnicity, color, language, traditions and economies. The gift of the writer to the Galatians, and to all of us, is that we can see the relationship we have to every one, and we are bound to love the whole of humanity because of Christ's love for us all. We are not weak and strong, healthy or broken, wealthy or poor, but co-heirs of the love of God which is always working for our transformation and our healing.

Today, I give thanks to God that none of us is left behind or outside of the circle of God's compassion and love. We are all one family, and invited to see others ans relatives and not strangers, sharing both our strengths and weaknesses and carrying each others' burdens. May we, in this time of Olympic fervor, remember those who cannot run, walk or swim, and cheer each other on as beloved family members, not seeing difference as a challenge but as a true gift of God.