If anyone can wax poetic about the power of a clean slate, it's Paul. In his mystical meanderings on the human body's relationship to the body of Christ, he doesn't ground his hope in the things that humans do (or don't do) in response to tradition, social pressure, or threats. He grounds it in the inclusive finality of Jesus Christ himself.
At first read, this Sunday's Colossians text landed for me with a bit of a thud between the rich narrative images of Genesis and Luke. But the text engages the themes of calling and vocation in important ways.
Martin Boehm was a key player in founding the United Brethren in Christ denomination, one of the precursors of the United Methodist Church. More than 240 years ago, Boehm was excommunicated after having a Wesleyan-type spiritual awakening that led to his preaching to people outside of his Mennonite church. Pennsylvania Mennonites recently denounced “the small-mindedness of religious thinking” that led to Boehm’s ouster, restored his Mennonite credentials, and asked local United Methodists forgiveness for their spiritual forebears’ narrowness (UMNS, June 27).