“For freedom Christ has set us free,” writes Paul in his letter to the Galatians. It’s not one of the assigned texts for this Sunday – Reformation Sunday – but it applies nonetheless. Paul was speaking to a conflict that divided the early church: did newcomers to faith need to adopt the religious practices of their Jewish brothers and sisters (in this case, circumcision), or was this multicultural, international group of believers doing a new thing?
Paul, as you’d guess, reminds them that the freedom to do a new thing comes from God – who does not judge us by our ability to perfect ourselves or the world around us (thank God for that). Instead, God’s judgment takes the form of an unconditional welcome to people from every walk of life and calls us to let go of any practices, prejudices or preconceptions that keep us from doing the same.
This Sunday we are taking in our fourth class of new members in two years – five new members this time, making twenty new members since spring, 2007. As we’ve grown we’ve been reshaped, reformed, by our reconstituted community. Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the church’s ongoing reformation – a tradition of inclusion, a legacy of change.