Liberati servi efficimur caritatis.
That is, "Set free, we are made servants of love." It's part of the big chunk we quoted from Augustine yesterday, but we can't get it out of our heads. Here, in a nutshell, is what we Lutherans call "the new obedience. That is, the reason for all those good works Christians are always doing (at least in theory, and often in practice as well). It is a quick outline of the relationship between Law and Gospel. It is a reminder of who and what, especially in the Johannine literature, God really is. And it is, like so much of Augustine (and Tertullian), eminently quotable.
A little while ago, on Facebook, a colleague confessed that Sunday's sermon was coming slowly, that he was troubled by the sort of anxieties that often beset reflective preachers. It is a personal struggle, and there wasn't much we could offer the fellow. But we did offer him this, to use as a mantra, or a prayer, or a byword. We offer it to our readers as well, especially those who may be struggling with one thing or another:
Set free, we are made servants of love.