Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer, September 02, 2020

Pastor Barbara’s Devotion for September 02, 2020:

There has been a whole lot of discussion in our society about freedom lately, whether one’s freedom is being taken away by mask requirements, physical distancing, shelter in place, etc. For me, it’s a no brainer. I will wear a mask and follow the mandates to protect myself and others. I see it as my responsibility as a citizen of the United States. 

However, I think there is a larger question to consider. What does freedom mean to a Christian? How do we, as a church, and as the people of God, consider what it means to be a free person? A writing from Martin Luther (the reformer, not the civil rights activist) came to mind. In Luther’s treatise “On Christian Liberty,” addressed to Pope Leo X. Luther writes: 

A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. 

A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject of all, subject to all.

This paradoxical statement is meant to be a challenge. It was written to ask the Pope to reconsider the church’s position on many issues of the day. According to Luther, we each have not only full freedom to do as we wish, we, as Christians, have full responsibility to serve God in every way we can. What does it mean for me – for us – to serve God, especially in this time of Covid-19 and the huge challenges that are facing us and our society?

Well, one of the important ways is to educate ourselves. Right now, many of us have an opportunity that is new to us. We have time, time at home, for some, time alone. This could become, and for some it certainly has, a time to study, listen, read, and reflect on our learnings. We can learn on our own and we have opportunities to learn with others. That is the beauty of Zoom, TV, radio, podcasts, and many other platforms of news and entertainment.

So, I encourage you to find a book or book of the Bible and read it and reflect on it, then take it further. Find a friend to read it with, or join a book or bible study, or listen to a podcast, or find a Youtube video about it or….. You, my Christian friend and faithful one, have many options! Take action, if you haven’t already! Pray, write a letter, call someone, fund something, there are so many ways we can make a difference. It might be small, but nothing is small when we do it for God and to further God’s love in the world! We have freedom to spread God’s love!

 Take very good care! 

In Christ, 

Pastor Barbara

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