To read the story of Jesus is to be shocked at what he demanded and didn’t demand. His rule was simple: love God with everything you are and have, and love your neighbour as yourself. But its our all-too-common tendency to complicate the simple.
When human beings get their hands on religion, the rules soon come to dominate. Paul the apostle pushed against that tendency. Having begun as a devoted religionist, Paul became, as one theologian called him, “the apostle of the heart set free”. His letter to the Galatians is a brilliantly clear indictment of the inadequacy of human rules. Change comes, Paul insists, by the power of love and by the indwelling Spirit.
We want to read this revolutionary letter with new eyes. It is only when we know what the gospel really is - an invitation to the truest freedom there can be - that we are enabled to sniff out all the ways we tend to remake this gift into another mechanism for control.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.