Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; (Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40;) Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
Consider its extravagant fertility! Howdependably it breeds itself in the marrowto fill again what drains away, the rivers of brightplatelets singing in their arterial darkuntil a simple incursion, some sharp sever.A jag. An abrupt disclosure as our secret fluidspills against its will—whether a startle or a slowseepage, a prompt to remember our fragility.When a bold splash on a lintel in Egypt signaledsafety, a lifeguard against the death angel, we didn’thave to die; it was only a lamb, and a quick throat cutthat flooded us into another life.“His blood be upon us” echoes in that old yell ofrejection. We can yield instead to bewashed in grace, the scandal of mercyacting as God’s unlikely laundry.Today the cup calls us to the altar rail, transfuses usas we drink deep, a stain that blots old grimesand dyes us with itself.
The household I grew up in did not have a lot of rules. My parents were first-generation immigrants who worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. So even if we'd had a lot of rules, they would not have been home to enforce most of them.
What comes first—your actions or your beliefs? Here's Paul's answer: neither one. What comes first is the love of God.
The case of John Howard Yoder
Yoder defined violence in terms of violating someone's dignity. This sounds ready made as a description of his own abusive behavior.
What makes forgiveness possible
We are instructed to love our enemies, including those who have wronged us and are unpleasant. We are not instructed to forgive our enemies.
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
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