Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30, 2017 - Proper 12A

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you read Romans straight through, you’ll find that in chapter 8 Paul is coming to an emotional and rhetorical crescendo; and he concludes with quite the statement – “For I am convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is what Paul has been building towards in Romans with all of his discussions about sin, the flesh, the Spirit, and grace. The reason why that passage is so often heard at funerals is because it is so full of hope. And while these words do provide consolation at funerals, this passage speaks hope to our everyday lives as well.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2017 - Proper 11A

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            What if I told you that your debt had been forgiven? All of it – the mortgage, the car, the student loans, and the credit card. Well, I don’t actually have the ability to forgive that debt, but as we continue working our way through Romans, we see that St. Paul is suggesting that Jesus Christ does liberate us from being debtors to the flesh. Our faith is supposed to be transformative, to radically change the way we interpret and live in the world. I can’t promise you that faith will cancel out what you owe the bank, but faith can make it so that what you owe is just money, not your entire life.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16, 2017 - Proper 10A

In the name of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            As we continue to work our way through Romans this summer, today we enter the eighth chapter, which is the crescendo of Paul’s argument in the letter. This chapter is so crucial that the lectionary has divided it into three parts; so for today and the next two Sundays we’ll be reading our way through chapter 8 of Romans.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9, 2017 - Proper 9A

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” For all of his high soaring rhetoric, today Paul puts his finger squarely on the human condition – I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. I don’t know about you all, but when I hear those words, I think “Yeah, been there, done that.”

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2, 2017 - Proper 8A

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            I’m not all that familiar with the music of Bob Dylan, but it seems that many Biblical scholars are, because nearly every commentary I read about today’s passage from Romans mentioned his song “Gotta Serve Somebody.” The song lists people from all walks of life and notes that every single one of us will have to serve somebody. Here’s a bit of it: “You may be an ambassador to England or France; you may like to gamble, you might like to dance; you may be the heavyweight champion of the world; you may be a socialite with a long string of pearls. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” That, in a nutshell, is what St. Paul writes to convey in today’s passage from Romans.