Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Adoption: Being before Doing (Galatians 4:1-7)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Saturday, 25 March 2017

Week 4: Human Beings—Not for Sale1

Week 4, Day 7

“Conclusion of the Intercessions,” The Book of Common Prayer

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adoption: Being before Doing (Galatians 4:1-7)

Matthias C. Der, Anglican, Hong Kong

My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. 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

Are we human beings or human doings? In the competitive city of Hong Kong where I reside, we are increasingly reduced to human doings not human beings. Companies asses the value of a staff person solely based on their productivity. Young children at the age of three are dragged to class after class so that they can become multilingual, socially adaptable and academically astute, ready for kindergarten entrance interviews. In the past eight months, close to thirty secondary and university students have committed suicide, succumbing to the pressures of life. Are we human beings or human doings? Have we sold our humanity to become human machines for gain or success?

One of the greatest gifts we have received in life is that of our adoption as God’s daughters and sons through faith in Christ. We were not only created in God’s image and not only loved by God. Rather, we are God’s precious children. How precious it is that we can call God, “Abba! Father!” (Gal 4:6) We tend to forget this sacred identity in each one of us and in the people we meet. Our worth does not come from what we have produced, how much we have earned, what influence we possess or the “packaging” in which we have clothed ourselves. It comes from the simple fact that we are God’s very own, loved by Christ and redeemed through his blood. It is through this that we can live life with love, thanksgiving, hope and peace. We can forgive those who have wronged us, care for the marginalized and extend a smile to a stranger. Do not forget that we are first and foremost human beings, loved and filled by God’s spirit, long before we start doing things. Let us allow ourselves to come to Christ, to be open to him, to obey and to walk with him. Then we can be free, can love and live.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”