Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adoption as Sons

New Testament Challenge – Day 17
Galatians and Ephesians

In both books for today’s readings Saint Paul makes an impassioned plea to recall the gift of adoption into the Church of the Gentiles. We know historically and through Holy Scriptures that the Jewish believers resented the Gentile believers and Saint Paul makes repeated reference to this fact in today’s readings.

What struck me today is the insistence by Saint Paul to remind the Gentiles of their rightful place in the Church along with their responsibility as members of the Body of Christ. We should take from this both comfort and challenge for our spiritual journey in Christ.

Whether we were born in the Church or came to the Church as converts (and here I am speaking within the Orthodox Church) we have rights and responsibilities to live as full members of the Church. Saint Paul’s not-so-gentle reminder that our either membership is by the grace of God, “lest anyone should boast,” (Ephesians 2.9) expresses this with biting truth.

Since we are all members of the Church by God’s grace, by default we have no special privilege over those other members of the Church with which we disagree – whether our grandparents established the parish or not!

That addresses our rights; now for our responsibilities…

You really must read today’s readings to get a greater appreciation for our responsibilities in the Church, but clearly stated, “For the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5.14)

No comments: