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The Protection of Curfews and Laws by Amy Duncan

An Advent Devotion
The Canticles of Christmas
Week Four: Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Saturday, December 30

Galatians 3:23-25 

“Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” (Galatians 3:23-25, NLT)

The year was 1981. I can vividly remember the heft of the payphone in my hand. Crowded into a telephone booth with three other teenagers, I was calling my parents to ask if I might stay out later than my curfew. We were out on a double date, and the other three were older than I. We had decided we would rather see a later movie. My mother stuck to her guns. No dice.

Years later Mom told me that my date’s mother had thanked her for imposing a curfew and sticking to it because that meant her son got home on time as well. Fast forward many years, and I found myself pronouncing curfew rules to my oldest, perhaps understanding for the first time the full measure of care and hope and love and wisdom and structure and security and protection and, and, and that is wrapped up in a curfew.

Ironically, I don’t really remember ever arguing with my parents about my own because somehow I knew that the rules were for my own good, and frankly in some cases gave me an “out” or protected me from a bad situation. However, when I got to college and found myself with total freedom, life was pretty sweet!

I have just finished Leviticus on my read-the-Bible-through plan, and my head is reeling from all the laws and rules. But when I pause and consider God as Protector, it becomes more clear that the laws were meant as boundaries to keep his people safe and to free them from their sin. How amazing the deliverance when Christ erased the old laws and welcomed believers to join him in God’s kingdom. Gloria in Excelsis Deo! New faith! New freedom! Life is pretty sweet!

Amy Duncan

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