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Discipleship is important to the St. James' Eufaula family.  One part of our discipleship is learning about our faith and discussing it with others.  As we grow together in the knowledge and love of Jesus, the Holy Spirit leads us in new directions both inside and outside the walls of our church.  Discipleship and learning are not without questions.  We learn and grow through interaction and discussion with others.  We want to hear your questions and let you comment on questions posed by others.  There are several Forum "threads" including one from our Adult Christian Education class.  We also welcome thoughts, ideas, pictures and other resources helpful in the walk of faith.  Join the discussion today.  

Jan 12

Romans 2:17-29

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Edited: Jan 12

Image is everything. Well, that's certainly the message we receive from much of the world. It's not so much what's inside as long as the outside looks good. Our culture is obsessed with appearance and we are all too happy to fall in line. Many times our actions in the world reflect this same way of thinking. We do certain things to "look" one way, while our hearts and actions tell a different story. Sometimes, we won't try new things or risk new experiences, relationships or kindness to the "other" for fear of the way it will make us look. Of course, we do this while professing our love for and relationship with God. This outside/inside tension runs through today's reading from Romans.

 

When I read this section, I can't help thinking about Ezekiel chapter three when the prophet takes the scroll representing the word of God and eats it. The word according to the prophet "tastes as sweet as honey." (Ezek. 3:3). The prophet shows us that it's not enough to know or possess the word-it must be a part of us. It's not what's on the outside or what we say, but, rather what is on the inside and what we do.

 

Paul says the same thing to the Romans as he discusses what it means to be a faithful Jew. Paul found some Jews who assumed their place in God's favor because of their birth and knowledge of the law. They told the world how much they loved God, but their heart and actions revealed something else. Paul turns circumcision, an outward sign for a Jew of being a child of the Abrahamic covenant, on its ear when he says that "real circumcision is a matter of the heart." (Rom. 2:29). When something is part of the heart, we bring it to everything we do and all that we are.

 

The Ten Commandments controversy mentioned yesterday is applicable here too. God doesn't want or need the Word written on monuments in rotunda's that serve to prove to humanity how much we love God. God wants the Word on our heart so that we bring God's word into our whole life. "Such a person receives praise not from others but from God." (Rom. 2:29).

 

A few questions: How is God's Word written on your heart? What does that mean to you? How do we say one thing and do another in life? How does this impact our walk with God?

New Posts
  • Reflection: The Rev. Ollie Rencher Rector, Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Memphis, TN Board of Directors, The Gathering of Leaders The baptismal call to navigate this world and other human beings, our companion images of God, in the love, light, and hope of Jesus is no small charge. This daily invitation presents countless opportunities and lifechanging choices to move deeper into the way of Jesus and to make him known. Whenever we bless, rejoice, weep, serve, and seek both equity and peace with another, we faithfully are practicing Christian goodness. In all things and with God’s help, let us choose goodness in the name of Jesus.
  • Reflection: The Rev. Valerie Balling Rector, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Monmouth Junction, NJ These few verses are the essense of the Baptismal Covenant, the blue-print of how to live as a Christian. Imagine what the world, or even our churches, would be like if we actually followed these tenets. Let's accept the challenge and practice thems each day, making them our holy habits.
  • Reflection: The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining Rector, St. Christopher's Episcopal, Gladwyne, PA Board of Directors, Gathering of Leaders In his letter to the Romans, Paul is asking us to “understand a mystery” so that we “may not claim to be wiser than we are.” How can one understand a mystery—especially one as complex as he is describing here? Perhaps, Paul is reminding us that the only wisdom we can truly claim is the knowledge that God knows infinitely more then we can ask or imagine. What a glorious mystery that is!
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