For Sunday, May 30, 2021
Trinity Sunday, Year B
Think of a time in your life when you really felt free.
For me, it was one morning on a motorcycle cresting the pass overlooking Pagosa Springs in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The entire valley floor opened up before my son Noah and I in a glorious display of shimmering golden and green sunlight. The taste of freedom was palpable.
So it is meant to be for us in our spiritual journeys. This passage is about the taste of freedom that comes from realizing we are no longer under the claim of the flesh but now under the claim of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes to really appreciate what God wants to say to us we need to change translations. There is a newer translation called The Passion Translation (TPT) that does a great job capturing some of the emotion that Scripture is intended to convey by speaking truth to us in contemporary English language. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in tradition. We end up domesticating the gospel. The gospel was never meant to be caged! Let this passage speak to you uncaged. I’ll share the whole thing here from the TPT:
12 So then, beloved ones, the flesh has no claims on us at all, and we have no further obligation to live in obedience to it. 13 For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life.
14 The mature children of God are those[a] who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. 15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,”[b] leading you back into the fear of never being good enough.[c] But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,”[d] enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”[e] 16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”
17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has.[f] We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings[g] as our own.[h]
That last phrase “provided we accept his sufferings as our own” can be jarring. Yet all it means is that we put ourselves under the discipline of his discipleship. He died on the cross for our sins. When we accept that, when we own that, our own challenges become the light and momentary afflictions that they actually are, which we gladly accept, for the sake of qualifying to share in his inheritance as co-heirs of our Heavenly Father.