bible blog 2015

ROMANS 12: 9-end

Love should be without pretence.

Shrink from evil, stick to the good. Show kindly affection to one another as loving brothers and sisters, taking the lead in giving honour to each other. Don’t be backward in business but quick in spirit as slaves of the Lord. Be happy in hope, patient under pressure, steadfast in prayer. Be partners of the holy ones in their needs, ready to welcome strangers to your home. Bless those who persecute you; yes, bless and do not curse. Be happy with those who are happy; weep with those who weep. Unify your thinking with each other; don’t be snobbish but walk with common people; don’t be clever in your own estimation. Give back nobody evil for evil but consider what is lovely in the eyes of all. If possible, as much as you can, be at peace with all people. Do not take your own vengeance, my dear ones, but leave a place for God’s anger, for Scripture says, “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay” says the Lord.’ On the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap up fiery coals on his head.’

Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with the good.

This is so beautiful it defies comment. Communities that practiced these virtues were the aim of Paul’s evangelism. In them life is shared and through them life is transmitted to the stranger. They are revolutionary communities challenging the ethos of the Roman Imperium and the Jewish ethnicity from which they have sprung. Paul sees them as a new humanity under the God who is revealed in Jesus Messiah. For him they are the future.

As with the teaching of Jesus, the question to contemporary ethical and political thinking is: do you know anyrhing as profound and relevant as this?

 

 

 

 

 

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