Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blogging Through Romans: Romans 12: 1-8

Romans 12: 1-8

We often hear this passage as a stand-alone exhortation on Christian moral behaviour. But I think this section is a response to the last. The word “therefore” is a giveaway.

It looks as if Paul is saying, “ALL of Israel will be saved. Those pesky Jewish folks who don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah will find their way into covenant with God. So don’t think you’re any better than them. You are one body. Dead in sin. Alive with Christ. You just have various roles to play according to your gifts. One gift is not any better or worse than another. So live your gifts in unity with each other - Jew and Gentile.”

Despite Paul’s best intentions, we tend to see some gifts as better than others. We’ve elevated the preaching office above all others, where Paul sees it as one gift among many.

We (rightly) celebrate at ordinations. But I wonder if we should similarly celebrate at other occasions as well. A lesson well taught. A bathroom expertly cleaned. Numbers deftly crunched. Every gift that comes from God is to God’s glory. I think Paul is asking us to remember that each of us plays a pivotal role in God’s enduring mission.

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