She was, to say the least, frustrated! I mean to the point of flaying her arms, tears in her eyes, and “saying” (if by that you mean “yelling”) “I can stay by myself! I’m a big girl!” OK, so I smiled just a bit at that since my 4 year old sometimes thinks she’s “bigger” than she really is. You see, I had just told her, she was going to have a “babysitter” since mom and dad had to be away and “big sister” was at dance rehearsal. I think it was the “baby” word that set her off!
But most kids struggle with growing up and the times when they just aren’t ready to make decisions or wise choices and take care of themselves. We humans really do pass through a developmental time when we are more “slave” than “grown-up. And something inside of us gets to a certain ages when that really bothers us REALLY bad. Ever been around a teenager?
And yet, it’s all part of growing up. We need the power of tutelage. We need examples to follow. We need someone to show us the ropes! That way we don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” in every life.
Look at our Epistle Lesson today in Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-5:
BRETHREN, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
St. Paul is writing to his parish in Galatia and dealing with some pretty serious problems. You see, the Galatian parish had been rocked by some folks who had come to them and taught them that they had to become Jews first, then Christians. They were being taught that they had to follow all the old ways before they could adopt the way of Christ. Needless to say, when Paul heard about this, he hit the roof! He explained to the Galatians that the Law was our “teacher” until Christ came But after the Incarnation, then what the Law taught us was now to be “written” in our hearts. We humans were ready to graduate from our time of childhood to the adulthood of the Christian Faith where there was no longer a distinction of value between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, or even male and female. We were now ready to embrace the internal maturity of not just knowing what the rules were and obeying the rules, but to a genuine internal change that meant we not only obeyed God but were actually in a loving relationship with God through His Incarnate Son!
This “growing up” means we believers are called to “graduate” from experiencing God as only the Boss or the Rule Giver, to the more mature, more loving, and more accurate image of Father. This significant transition sets us free to embrace our own responsibility for our faith and the wonderful realization that we are more than slaves, we are sons and daughters of a God Who loves us and has every intention of giving us all He has and is!
Today, are you growing up? Are you trapped in an immature faith that has you stumbling about and struggling to stop making immature choices? Perhaps it’s time to deal with this by asking your own heart to “grow up” when it comes to how you think of God! Stop thinking of God as your rule maker, always watching you to catch you in making a mistake, and grow up your understanding of God through the Icon of Jesus Christ! Because the Lord Jesus has come to “show” us the Father so that we will grow up and grow more like Him!
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