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Sunday, 5 November 2017

"The Gifts and Calling... Are Irrevocable."

I ask for the grace of focus and presence as I pray through the sacred text.

Romans 11:25-32
25 So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
‘Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’
27 ‘And this is my covenant with them,
   when I take away their sins.’
28As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

1) "...wiser than you are;" "...mystery;" "...Israel will be saved;" " regards election they are beloved;" "...the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable;" " the mercy shown to you;" "...God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all;"

2) If only we could all remember the humility we are called to when we are feeling wiser than we are.  The Christian tradition has completely ignored this passage... except for the words "they are enemies of God."  Someone stopped reading, the very next words are, "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."  If the Christian calling is to make any sense at all, the inclusion of Israel in God's mercy is absolutely necessary.  I'm not so big on "God has imprisoned all in disobedience..." but I am very aware than every last one of us fails in our holy manners.  How do we call others to justice without risking "to claim to be wiser than you are"?  Is it even possible to ask for accountability to justice?  I feel  like every time I try to call someone accountable, someone shoves a log in my eye.  Or rather, I start knocking people over with the log in my eye.  If only those who are holy and blameless can call for accountability to justice we are in a whole lot of trouble!

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To consider and seek the humble way of calling one another to just action.  This has to do with the "how" we call people into dialogue, rather than calling people out for ignorance or injustice.  Shaming teaches us nothing.  Trust in the irrevocable gifts and calling of God.

"Holy One, the way becomes very narrow between demanding just action and not claiming to be wiser than we are.  Be our guide."

Breathprayer: "The gifts and calling... are irrevocable."

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