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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Today’s Reading | Galatians 4:4–7 

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. (NRSV)


When I was a child, I was notorious within my family for losing things: keys, books, backpacks. If something was able to be carried, chances were that I’d set it down someplace else without thinking and then be forced to recruit my family to look around the house to help me find what I’d lost. Even though I valued many of the things that I kept losing track of and I tried to be deliberate about what I did with them, invariably my old habits would creep up and ruin all my best intentions. Old habits are indeed the hardest to break.

In this passage from Galatians, Paul writes to the Galatian people about how they need to take ownership of this new identity that they have as children of God and heirs to the kingdom. Although they had been entrusted as owners to bring God’s love out into the world, they are instead losing that message by falling back on an old way of thinking and operating—an old habit, if you will.

Many of us at the outset of the year have resolved to break from a habit we’ve set up for ourselves—something that causes us to lose focus from what is truly important to us. Paul’s proclamation to the Galatians is one that we would do well to keep in our minds this time of year: Where are we falling back into old habits and how are those habits preventing us from bringing God’s love to those around us? The circumstances may have changed, but the question is as piercing as ever.


Dear God, help me to examine my life for the places where my own pattern and habit have obscured your call to love and to serve. Amen.

Written by Matt Helms, Minister for Children and Families

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