Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pentecost 2c - Galatians 1:11-24

I’ve been writing Living the Lectionary from Roots Coffeehouse in North Richland Hills since December 2009 because it’s close to my son Joshua’s school, they’re not a chain so the coffee is more interesting and the Wi-Fi is free. But now Starbucks offers two hours of free internet access if you purchase and register a SB card. Yes, I know that means it’s not technically free, but with school out for summer and an SB on every corner of the planet who cares if their coffee is only a step or two above McDonalds? So with apologies to the folks at Roots, I’m afraid I’ll be blogging this summer from a comfy chair in a satellite of the corporate coffee empire. You don’t have to like the apostle Paul to appreciate what the Lord accomplished through him. Truth is he seems to be rather full of himself for one who will admit elsewhere to being the least of the apostles. That being said it was God who did the choosing and scripture would seem to support the idea that God chooses those who otherwise would be less than acceptable or dare I say left behind. Moses, reluctant and slow of speech, is chosen to speak for I AM. David the youngest brother from the smallest tribe is chosen to be king and although an adulterer and murderer is a man after God’s own heart. Mary of Magdalene, once possessed by seven demons is set free to become the apostle to the apostles, "I have seen the Lord." And Paul, the persecutor of a charismatic but insignificant Jewish sect, is the one whose work and writings birth the church into the Gentile world to change it forever.


  1. The folks over here at Roots will miss you!

  2. Here's what one of my members sent me by email.

    Life is too short to settle for overpriced, medium quality coffee, served with attitude, go back to Roots.

    So you'll see me back in my blogging chair! Maybe not everyday because it is a few miles from home but I already miss the friendly service and the great coffee.

  3. One of the things I've always liked about Paul is that he seems passionate and emphatic about most everything he wrote. Whether touting his broadband link straight to God or groveling as "the least" among the apostles, this guy emphatically believed every word of it. Perhaps God chose Paul because of his passion and tireless energy, even more so than because of his credibility with traditional Jews or his ability to preach and write.
    This would have been amazing news to hear from the perspective of Pauls' audience. Imagine Sarah Palin suddenly espousing liberal causes or Barack Obama suddenly talking like Glenn Beck. People would take note and listen.
    I personally think that Paul was a lot better human being than David was. David knew how to repent, or maybe one of his scribes knew how to repent for him. Paul on the other hand always had God's purposes in mind. This text ends with "And they glorified God because of me." It doesn't sound that way at first hearing, but there really is some humility in those words. Whether persecuting believers or downloading God's latest inspiration, Paul was all about God's purposes.

  4. I was thinking more about this text, and what strikes me isn't ego as much as amazement. Our own stories are strikingly similar.
    I remember in 1977 trying to explain to my friends what had happened in my life, and how I had changed. "My life sort of crashed and one night I got down on my knees in tears and invited Jesus Christ into my life. And something happened to me...I feel different."
    Paul must have been amazed at what had transpired in his life - the 180 degree change of direction. I think that's what he's saying here. How do you explain the Spirit?
    We tend to lose that sense of amazement over the years. Perhaps that's our biggest problem. Perhaps Paul found a way to hold onto his.