Hmm... I'm not even sure what to ask for. Which means I probably need to sit in silence, more than with lections. So may I receive whatever it is I need in this time of prayer.
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry 14in order to make my own people* jealous, and thus save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! 16If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.
1) "I glorify my ministry;" "...life from the dead;" "...if the part.. is holy, then the whole batch is holy;" "...if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy;"
2) Paul wants the two factions within the community to stop condemning each other. He's trying to assert one body, even if different parts of the body have different observances. I don't think he won his argument, but I agree with him. I think the church quickly abandoned oneness in Christ, and judged that the branches were holy, while the root was rotted. I just don't get how an institution that claimed to hold these texts as sacred, could end up persecuting Paul's own people. Our capacity to bend and twist words to our own discriminatory and self-interested purposes is so pervasive. And where are we today? So many so called Christians have horrific "observances:" the subjugation of women, the persecution of LGBTTQ* people, racism, classism. I can't help but feel Paul would be disgusted. It breaks my heart. My use of "so called Christians" bespeaks my desire to did-identify. I do not want to be part of the body they are claiming. I'd rather be an atheist that a hateful, bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynistic anything. I don't need to. That isn't at all what Paul calls us to. But I would.
3) What is the invitation in all this? To observe what is right, compassionate, just, and holy.
"Holy One, I don't pray for 'oneness', but for peace, justice, compassion, and empathy for all your creatures."
Breathprayer: "If the part... then the whole."