Love and Resurrection ~ January 26, 2018

Andrei_Rublev_-_St_Paul._From_Deisus_Tier_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Love and Resurrection

January 26, 2019

Psalm 19 Nehemiah 8:1-10I Corinthians 12:12-31Luke 4:14-21

Paul the Apostle enjoyed metaphors. The earthier the better. In I Corinthians 12 Paul compares the people of God to a human body. A diversity of gifts and tasks within the community make up that body, which is Christ himself. Not only is the body made up of people with different gifts but it is made up of different types of people.

“For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” ~ 12:13

The Apostle confronts two of the most divisive realities of the ancient world, ethnicity and economic status. According to Paul, Jewish and Gentile, enslaved or slave owner, could all be a part of this new body, the body of Christ. And, as a part of Christ’s body, the individual is not lost but makes their contribution to the whole for the benefit of all. Thinking of a similar passage, Thomas Cahill makes a similar point when Paul writes about his subject to the Galatians:

“In this ancient world of masters and slaves, conquerors and conquered, a world that articulates at every turn, precisely and publicly, who’s on top, who’s on bottom, Paul writs the unthinkable to his Galatians, who may just have been goofy enough to receive it: There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” - The Desire of the Everlasting Hills, 147

What seems like a reasonable expectation to us was an out of this world consideration for Paul’s original hearers. But for Paul himself, it only made sense. If Christ is risen, then Christ is Lord over all and what Christ wants takes precedence. The world belongs to Christ, all of it, and he is determined to have one people, one family, united from all corners of human experience.

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our
Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News
of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive
the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill