Reflections on the lectionary readings by pastors, preachers, and biblical scholars
Photo by Mary Harrsch
The Philippians would have read "striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" and thought of the phalanx, infantrymen with shields interlocked. An opponent faced a whole formation.
Romans 14:1–12; Matthew 18:21–35
The first fistfight I ever witnessed was in a church. Two leaders, impassioned by their differing views, escalated their argument into a physical fight.
What comes first—your actions or your beliefs? Here's Paul's answer: neither one. What comes first is the love of God.
The apostle Paul reminds the church at Rome how to live in community inside and outside the church. This is not the exuberant rhetorical surplus we find in 1 Corinthians 13, but love is still Paul's guiding principle.
Bodies matter for Paul. And they matter for Christian discipleship. Paul foregrounds the human body as critical for the Christian response to God's mercy.