Cynthia A. Jarvis
Cynthia A. Jarvis is pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia.
While this is a “teachable moment,” Bill’s knock on the door will remind his minister that the words uttered at previous teachable moments in the pulpit and in the classroom have fallen on rocky soil.
At the heart of the salvation doctrine is the proclamation that our lives and our deaths are in God’s hand; we are loved of God not by our own merit but by God’s gracious initiative toward us. We need not spend our lives in good works in order to be saved but only in grateful response to being so loved.
"Fear,” writes Karl Barth, “is the anticipation of a supposedly certain defeat.” Fear describes Joseph’s brothers, who fear and hate their brother’s favored status. Fear strikes the hearts of Jesus’ disciples when they see him walking toward them on the water.
The first covenant holds forever.
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