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In the company of church members in recovery from addiction, I’m feeling more open to the doctrine of original sin.
One of the greatest mysteries of faith is that God loves us as is.
Perhaps it's only when we let go of who and what our loved one was that we can receive who they are now.
by Samuel Wells
The preacher faces several challenges in these Ascension texts. How can we present Jesus’ departure from the earth as an occasion for not sorrow but celebration? How to translate the kingship and hierarchical language into imagery that speaks to a world no longer governed by kings and monarchs?
Feminist biblical scholars note a third challenge: How can we counter Luke-Acts' use of the Ascension to exert a degree of social control?
There must have been some Lutherans sitting in that conference room when the Revised Common Lectionary was birthed. That is the only explanation that I can come up with for Ephesians 2:1-10 having a role on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B.
By Steve Pankey
Christ "has broken down the dividing wall. . . . that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it."
This week the lectionary offers foundational verses of our faith. But the faith cannot live on a couple verses alone.
The world is full of walls. Everywhere we go, there are fences, gates, partitions and other ingeniously constructed barriers—all aimed at keeping something or someone in and keeping something or someone else out. We need walls.
As much as we might like to make the faith about spiritual enlightenment or ethical ideals or the broad love of God that inspires tolerance, the fact of the matter is that the gospel is at root a rescue story.
If the Ephesians forget who they were, they will presume God owes them something.