Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sun. Oct. 14, 2012 (Santosh Ninan)

On October 14th, we enjoyed having Santosh Ninan return to speak on the Epistle reading from the day's Lectionary, Romans 12:1-8. Modern popular books trumpet the news that each of us has special gifts to enjoy, cultivate and use. It's a pity these authors ignore Paul's writing which said the same thing, but much better, centuries ago. In various letters, Paul took the trouble to identify special gifts individuals might have but may have possibly ignored or downplayed, even though they could be important for the ultimate success of their house church. But before we try identifying what we may suspect are our gifts, Paul advises us to be transformed most unusually, sort of like becoming a 'living sacrifice' to God and each other (Paul never shied away from strong statements). Unlike today's popular writers advising on acquiring money through the bond market, stocks or real estate, Paul asks that if we have a gift for acquiring money, we have to use this gift to help others (and he possibly meant "other believers"). We should not just work hard to get ahead at a job and acquire status, but any status or influence which is given to us is useful to God only if used to help others, and so it goes. Each gift that Paul identified was important only if it was put to use in ways which benefited the little house church. Santosh cited Mary's total acquiescence to the angel's ridiculous request. Mary did not understand the request (for obvious reasons), even after asking for clarification, but she sensed that her new role was not that to serve her family but, in some yet unknown way, to serve God. Paul's letter to the house church at Rome always assumed that serving God was not something done in isolation, but it had to happen as a member of a thriving faith community. [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, October 14th, 2012 using your browser's preferred media player.



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