"Story, Gospel, Art, Mission: Introducing St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians"
Preached at South Wedge Mission
Rochester, New York
2 June 2013
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Text: Galatians 1.1-24
Note: For the next six weeks, SWM will be using the lectionary's second lesson focus on Galatians as an opportunity to engage in a study of the epistle. Because we are a new community, and a weekly Bible study is not possible at this time, I have modified the readings to include more of Galatians, and will be posting on this blog and in our SWM facebook group.
The first in this series is longer, being an overall introduction to a basic hermeneutic of the epistle, basic historical background, and Luther's discerned theme of Gospel contra idolatry. I've added artificial section headers to help guide intrepid readers. Thanks to Saby Davis for transcribing this manuscript from the live audio (I had my hand smashed in a window and was unable to do further editing).
-Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our father, and from our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
-So what Paul is essentially doing is being the herald for Jesus. He walks right into Galatia, which is a big region in Northern Turkey, shouting “God has claimed you. The Kingdom of God is here. You are now under control of the Spirit. You are no longer slaves to the elemental powers of the world, to the Pagan deities, to yourselves, or to any other human authority. But you are slaves of Christ -- and therefore free before the world. You’ve been liberated. You’ve been liberated for a new life because of God’s action, because of what God has done for you.”
-Because mission, in the end, may just be this kind of learning - learning the art of seeing and hearing the Gospel in the world around us, and witnessing to what it's up to in the stories and lives and vocations and arts all around us.
-And, if we follow humbly and with much trust and faith, we will find mystery and magic and adventure and mission -- and the unbreakable, undying eternal promise of God in Christ Jesus. St. Paul would have been pleased with nothing less.