The Owl on Freedom

Now we come to the fourth of the Owl’s principal terms: Freedom. The sequence of these terms, Faith then Covenant then Love then Freedom, is intentional: Faith, God’s gift to us; the Covenant under which it is lived in God’s steadfastness; Love, the power that keeps us turning toward God and each other; then Freedom, the sine qua non of Love.

Love is what turns a man’s wheels homeward at the end of the work day, simply because he belongs with the people there rather than wherever else. He is actually free to turn or not, or it is no love that drives him. Love has to be freely given, or it is not love but something else; fear, coercion, deception, but not love.

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The Owl on Agape

Back from hiatus, the Owl remembers his promise to clarify What the Owl Is Trying to Say, under the key terms Faith, Covenant, Love, Freedom, and Obedience. We are up to what is probably the biggest of all: Love.

Let us start with a curious fact: Nowhere in the New Testament Greek, nor in the Septuagint (the most ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures) do we find the word eros. That word, which most of us learned is Greek for love simply is not there. The word for love in the New Testament is ἀγάπη, transliterated, agape. Commentators make much of this word, but what they agree on is again, God’s initiative. We love God because he first loved us. We love our fellow creatures because we know God loves them enough to have created them, and now sustains them, and sent his Son to show forth his love in the most poignant and catastrophic way.

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