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Excluded and Enslaved: O Freedom! #4 (2016-0731)

. 2 min read

Call to
worship, Psalm 87
Children, Luke
15.11-32 (father and two sons)
Message, Galatians 4.1-20
Review: Freedom theme
      People
pleasing
      Guilt
trips – discussion of the racial divides in our nation
      Living
under a curse, in captivity
Today: excluded & enslaved
First, some background regarding difficulties
with the Apostle Paul
      Jew-Gentile
relations
 Both Jews and Gentiles enslaved
      Law
of God
      Idolatry
            Offensive
in its time,
                  despite
the priority he set on the Jewish gift
            Seeds
of equality … and new possibilities for dialogue
            “there
is no longer Jew or Greek” (Gal 3.28)
      Perspectives
on women, and women as leaders
            “receive
adoption as sons” (Gal 4.5)
            A
surprising expression of equal rights for women
            “there
is no longer male and female” (Gal 3.28)

Exclusion: 3rd grade rejection experience
Galatians 4:17  They make much of you, but for no good
purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them.
It makes no sense to pursue the
persons who exclude us, or who force us to exclude others. Yet, we do it all
the time.
      It
is a violation of the gospel that includes us in God’s family as sons and
daughters together.
Enslaved: Paul’s language here, raising kids
Raising children to become adults
      Not
disloyal to wish to be independent (Hansen, 115)
Abba, intimate (not “chummy”,
“Pops”)
      Jesus’
unique gift for prayer
      “included
in the conversation of the Trinity through prayer”
            (Hansen,
122)
For both struggles – exclusion
and enslavement – the solution Paul offers is an identity rooted in being sons
and daughters of God.
      Allow
the excluder to define our identity
            Not
good enough, attractive enough
            Skin
color or accent get in the way
      Allow
the enslavement to rule/law to define our identity
            Not
perfect, not acceptable …
N & J

      Exercising
her independence by visiting Dad