You can hear the thunder rumble in the pages of Galatians as St. Paul calls out churches being lured away from the gospel of Jesus. Some of the temptations they face can seem quite foreign to us; others are eerily familiar.
While we can’t imagine being bullied into circumcision, we can relate to corrosive power of racial prejudice to divide a community. While we might not be enslaved to sacred calendars, we can identify with a profound distrust of spiritual authority. Paul argues the reason we go astray is because we choose to walk away from the truth of the gospel.
Fortunately, the thunder is accompanied by flashes of crackling light. Chapter after chapter, Paul unfolds gospel truth that promises deliverance from our evil age, victory over enslaving religion, unity and healing in divisiveness, and character that glimmers with the image of Christ.
Galatians doesn’t just put the gospel on display; it puts it in the details of life. It reveals the manifold difference of the Father, Spirit, and Son working in us to establish new creation in the midst of a tired, old world.