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The Chalice
Friday, July 28 2023


When last we left St. Paul in Romans chapter eight, he was filled with exuberance in his proclamation of the saving grace of God for all people. In chapter nine, our text for this Sunday, we meet a very different Paul. He seems to be in the depths of despair wondering why his own Jewish people have not freely embraced the message of Jesus. Yet he wisely remembers that God will continue to be faithful to Israel.

The gentile Christians in Rome would have been immersed in a powerful imperial narrative contrary to the story of the Bible. From the brothers Romulus and Remus to the current emperor seen as the lord of the earth, the story of Rome was one of divinely sanctioned power, privilege and domination of peoples. It would be easy for gentile Christians in Rome to assume exceptionalism for themselves over the Jewish community who had not come to believe in Jesus. But Jesus is not another emperor. Paul strenuously counters the myth of Roman dominance with the story of God's continuing invitation to Israel as the bearers of God's hope for the world. The gentiles are invited to join Israel in God's mission to redeem all things in Christ. 

In our time, another imperial counter narrative is alive and well through the myth of American tribalism and Christian nationalism. As Christians faithful to God's vision in an increasingly secular culture, our mission is to oppose that counter narrative and to keep alive a global vision of God who first called Israel and now invites us as well to reconcile all people to God and one another.

Fr. Dan

Posted by: The Very Rev. Canon Daniel Ade AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. John's Episcopal Church
12 Prospect St. | Huntington, NY 11743 | PH: (631) 427-1752
Sunday Services at 8 AM and 10 AM
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