Friday, December 19, 2013 — Week of Advent 3, Year One[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 40, 54 (morning) // 51 (evening)
2 Peter 2:17-22
Today’s second reading warns us of a great danger to our souls: What passes for freedom in this world is often just another form of domination. For example, our freedom to shop all we want just enslaves us to dissatisfaction and debt. Our freedom to ingest a variety of substances just enslaves us to desire and addiction. Our freedom from government regulations just enslaves us to polluted air and water, or to prejudice and discrimination.
We need to be on guard against these so-called freedoms that ultimately master us. Proponents of these freedoms “promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them.” It can be very hard to tell a proclaimer of freedom from a person who is mastered by the desires that are incited by various aspects of our culture.
My personal favorite example of something that promises freedom but leads to mastery is the automobile. People look so free in car commercials, driving in convertibles along beachside highways. But in reality? Our cars have also enslaved us to traffic, to poor health, to smoggy air, to monthly payments, and to concrete.
This Advent, we should closely examine the promises of freedom that our world makes to us. Will these things really free us, or are they seeking to master us? Let’s tread carefully today.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.