Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No need to be so concerned, With who's best or... who's holiest

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Romans 1:14

The native people (barbarians) showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. Acts 28:2

I am pretty bound up and surrounded by the foolishness of the Greeks, considered the wise, as I wade through The Odyssey with my ninth graders. The ancient hero Odysseus’ first option is to lie, every time. He tarries with wine, woman, and song for many a month while his wife, his child and the people under his leadership wait, staring across the salty horizon to no avail. If there is a treasure or curiosity to distract him, off he goes, no matter what the cost to his men. The wise.

And here we have the barbarians, the fools who didn’t even know how to read and write and whose idols were probably crafted from old washed-up logs and not the creamiest marble, but they sure knew how to treat the wayfaring stranger.

But Greek or barbarian, wise or foolish, the point is the Gospel of God concerning His Son through whom we have received grace and apostleship with which Paul has been obligated.

And I got dragged into a political discussion last night. Drats. Because really that sort of thing produces no fruits of righteousness. Or unity. Or what is true and honorable and lovely.  And all of us are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless in so many ways. And the wrath of God is rightfully against all ungodliness, and we all deserve death. And therefore I have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another I condemn myself, because I, the judge, practice the very same things.

Yet. Yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is His great love, the Gospel, the good news.

This morning someone asked for the lyrics to Cameron’s “I Will Always Love You” and some supporting Scriptures. And gladly I could scramble through the Scriptures.

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love.

Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

In this I can rejoice. May this good news fill my thoughts and prayers.