Today’s Bible reading
Read Romans 6
Now that you have been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.– Romans 6:17
More thoughts for meditation
We are not freed to be free from the annoyance, or bad feeling, or dissatisfaction, or disgust, or whatever else happens inside of us when we are enslaved. We are not just freed from, we are freed FOR. Our purpose is righteousness because our freedom’s purpose was righteousness. We are bound to the intention of the author of our freedom, Christ our Lord. Bound – bonded – enslaved. Slavery is not very attractive to us. It was not very attractive to Paul’s reader’s either, even if slavery in Paul’s day and age WAS different from the system of slavery that plagued our history and present with its legacy.
Positive freedom is a philosophical idea that acknowledges not just the external impediment on a person to do what they want, but the internal freedom to act as they desire. As a concept it is closely connected with “self-mastery.”
As Christians we have a desire for self-mastery in one sense, but it is a self-mastery FOR submission to our heavenly master. If we are too internally disorganized, our new allegiance to Jesus, our Lord and Master, is of little consequence. But there is so much real evil in the world that requires our agency and efficacy. Our freedom is FOR many, many people and things. On the second Sunday of Lent, we are marking our progress in this communal journey toward better self-understanding as who we are and WHOSE we are, so that we can offer ourselves and our efforts FOR others.
Suggestions for action
Do a spiritual check in. How is it going on this journey? In the past 24 hours when did you go left when you meant to go right? When did you look down when you meant to go up? When did you zig when you wanted to zag? Remember, right, up and zag are not necessarily righteous. We are reforming our will to do what we intend so that we can offer our reliable self to the master and what he would have us do. This is one of the main benefits of Lent: that we learn to do what we intend, notice when we don’t, and adjust course when we realize.
Today is John Cassian Day! Read about one of the most influential contemplatives and monastics from way back in the fourth century on Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body