Pondering for Friday, June 17, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 6: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 88; Evening, Psalms 91 and 92;

Numbers 13:1 to 3 and 21 to 30; Romans 2:25 to 3:8; Matthew 18:21 to 35:

“For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical.  Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal.” (Romans 2)

I want to thank Paul for this important clarification.  He says “circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal.” This is so important to understand.  Since it is spiritual and not literal, this kind of circumcision is inclusive of women also.  Further, the spirituality of it opens the idea of being inclusive of all humanity, regardless of skin tones, hair texture, language, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.  Thank You Lord Jesus and thank you Paul.

While Paul was addressing what it means to be a Jew, he was really deconstructing the argument about the difference between being a Jew and being a Gentile, to whom he was sent. His whole point is, that that makes us a holy people, is what is on the inside of us, not how we are packaged. It is that that is inside each of us that is both holy and eternal through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul still favored using the term Jew to mean God’s chosen and could not come up with a more inclusive identifier. I do believe that through the Body and Blood of our Savior we are made one with Him and therefore, with God. I have no problem being called a Jew through Jesus. At some point in our spiritual journey we must take on new identities. We must become new creatures in Christ Jesus. I believe this was God’s plan from the creation of all things.

I like most of the thinking and preaching of St. Paul. I think he does get off base from time to time with his own biases. But basically he wants us to be faithful followers of the Way.

Please remember to keep the Ukrainian people in your prayers. No matter how bleak it may seem, prayer can turn things around. Through our prayers God finds a way for divine intervention. God loves all people and always has since God brought us into existence.

 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom. 

What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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