Re the Daily Office Readings July 7 Anno Domini 2020

Photo by Heike Mintel

The Readings: Numbers 35:1-3, 9-15, 30-34; Romans 8:31-39; Matthew 23:13-26

It looks like Paul could have gone directly from 8:30 to 9:1. But, something like the doxology ending chapters 9-11, he goes for a summary. “God is for us… the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” These affirmations, bookending the section, might be the most important thing to hear in chapters 1-8, chapters in which it’s so easy to lose the thread in the density of the theological argument or to simply fall asleep, as did Eutychus that night in Troas (Acts 20:7-12). “God is for us.”

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Speaking personally, the one serious candidate I’m aware of is the guy who meets me in the mirror each morning, who regularly confesses “We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.” And that, in turn, sends me back to Ps 23. (Paul did, after all, introduce Jesus by recalling David [1:3], with whom Ps. 23 is associated. Pure speculation: if Paul had wanted to update Ps 23, today’s text could have been the outcome.) “Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life…” (Common English Bible; my italics). So while that guy in the mirror is not to be underestimated, God is giving his salvation God’s best shot. Ditto each of that guy’s neighbors. “God is for us.”

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