It was intention to ponder the appointed read from Galatians for Sunday. And then the Old Testament reading from the Daily Office (1Samuel 12:1 ff) grabbed my attention. Samuel pronounces Israel’s sin in choosing a King to serve over them, in God’s place. Yet, his pronouncement is not without hope for he also says: ” … do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart … for the Lord will not cast away his people. It seems particularly relevant given tomorrow is July 4th.
And then the reading from Luke (23:1 ff) the story of Pilate and Herod passing Jesus back and forth like some intriguing persona or political hot potato, both ignoring Roman Law (or so I an told) grabbed my attention.
Both stories raise the specter of the 1st clause of the 1st Amendment to our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” I am frustrated that we have misinterpreted that to mean “separation of church and state” because it is silent as to citizens bringing religious values into political dialogue and processes. I am also angered when elected official proclaim biblical values in some political debates, and then blatantly ignore the teachings of their own church in others as they promote policy based on writing of avowed atheist.
So, I am frustrated and offended. The calling is to call people into the transforming presence of God in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The calling is to remind people we can not mess it up fatally bad. It is as Samuel said “God will not cast away his people.” It is as Paul wrote: “What will separate us from the love of God? … nothing.
It now seems this reflects Sunday’s reading from Galatians after all. Paul writes: “Let us not grow weary in doing what is right.”
So, offended – yea, frustrated, yea, but weary – never, one way or another, know or unknown God’s strength is with us.