Pentecost +6 - Year C
Freedom is multivalent. There are two places where misuse can easily creep in. One is in thinking freedom is separation or distance from a variety of relationships. Here is the basis for individualism that discounts the wave function of community. The other is the substitution of a technique such as a majority rule. Here is the basis for tribalism that again discounts the value of every part of the community to the health of the whole.
“For freedom we are set free” is a great line, but only with an important caveat. We are not to return to slavery, our own or another’s. We can fool ourselves about slavery as both the above, individualism and majoritarianism are enslavements to particalism, forgetting that none are free unless all are free. This doesn’t mean until all are separated individuals or persuaded to join a coalition making a majority, but free to develop relationally.
Freedom here is a freedom toward community. None of the fruits of the spirit can be accomplished in isolation — they are all relational and unbounded in their implementation. There is no law against the multitude of ways in which we are able to participate in loving our Neighb*r.
For a course on “Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly” I condensed and modernized one of John Wesley’s sermons (On Zeal, #92). It includes these spirit-oriented qualities against which there are no laws and ways toward them. You may or may not find it helpful here. Click Here if you want to take a look.