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Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Pastor's Viewpoint
There are a number of scriptural parables that are concerned with how we use our talents or gifts that come from God. These parables imply that God views human freedom as a sacred trust to be exercised responsibly.
Each of us is a unique package of abilities that defines potential for performance. Faith in God does shed light on the purpose of our freedom. Freedom’s exercise develops lifestyles or spiritualities that define a person’s being.
Considering options and making choices is a wonderful human power. Most of us exercise this gift constantly in various areas of life. But, this grace can be radically curtailed by material, social, and cultural bondage. Some people, through no fault of their own, have few or no options.
Many people exercise choice in pursuit of a shallow ideal, consumerism, simply possessing more things. Such persons may appear to be free, but they are merely skimming the surface of freedom’s potential.
In contrast, to choose a cause or person represents a deeper form of freedom. Here the worth of freedom’s object becomes internalized. Thus one is created by appropriating a value worthy of a life that mirrors the Creator’s intent in making us.
Nothing in this world should be treated as ultimate except each human life as bearer of its Creator’s image. A free choice to believe and relate as God’s creation liberates one from idolatry, that is, making anything less
than God a priority. A truly free person makes choices that order the value of all things in life so as to focus on God and God’s will.
We all need to access our use of freedom in relationship with life’s goals. We should not waste freedom in pursuit of superficial wants and pleasures. Each of us should faithfully seek to discover our gifts and ask ourselves what we are doing with them.
Note that we cannot enter into a conscious, deliberate relationship with God apart from this world. We must find our way to God within this world. Love of God does not correlate with a dismissal of this world; of its sins and evil, yes; of its grace and goodness, no. We are here to serve God in and through earthly projects of love, compassion and justice.
In this life, the closest representatives of God are human beings. Sadly, they do not always present them-selves as having developed so as to be seen as God’s face.
The hope to which we are called is one of exercising our freedom in love, and so benefitting others by drawing them into God. We are God’s creativity at work in an evolutionary universe. Positively exercising our freedom for the benefit of human flourishing is our mission. We are transformed and transformative persons, collaborators in a Divine milieu, in a Divine plan.
Consider your choices wisely. They are your destiny. They become you.