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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

"The Gospel of Christ... an Angel from Heaven."

I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully.  I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion, and empathy.  I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance.  May there be room in my heart for the transformation of a new birth this season.  May my thoughts, words, and actions proclaim justice, kindness, and humility.

Galatians 1:6-9
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! 9As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

1)  "...astonished;" "...quickly deserting;" "...pervert the gospel of Christ;" "...angel from heaven;"

2) Wow, he leaps right in.  I think there are a lot of perversions of the gospel out there now.  The 45 president of the US embodies many of them.  But I'm suspicious of the way Paul claims authority.  What is the place of revelation?  How does one value one revelation over another if they are contrary?  How do you play off the gospel of Christ and an angel from heaven?  Integral to "Paul's Gospel" is its continuity with the Hebrew tradition and inclusion of Gentiles.  It grieves me the way that there are so many so-called "Christians" confusing the gospel with their own egos, their own security and comfort.  It grieves me the way "Christmas" has become a celebration of consumerism.  It grieves me the way people confuse "what we've always done" with meaning, connection, and purpose.  I feel some excited anticipation of reading through this epistle slowly to discover for myself what Paul has to say.  Will he collapse into complete hypocrisy?  Why is his revelation more insightful than another's?  He moves so quickly to admonishment; was he intimate enough with these folk to do that?

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To keep reading with curiosity.  Maybe discern how to condemn perverse readings of the gospel.

"Holy One, lead on."

Breathprayer: "The gospel of Christ... an angel from heaven."

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