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Paul’s concern is that congregational leadership must represent Christ to his flock and also must be a good witness for Christ in the larger community.
Jesus Christ “has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and delivered me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” – Martin Luther
These verses should challenge us. Too often, we in the church seek to explain away Biblical teachings we do not like while loudly proclaiming those verses with which we agree.
When we pray for the President, we pray for his well-being for he too is a child of God and we pray for his leadership that will seek the common good. When we pray for our President we are praying for our nation, our society, and ourselves.
The essence of the Christian life is that we stand together in this confession that “I am the chief sinner.” It is only in my recognition that I should be leading the goats into everlasting perdition that I can “humbly count others better than myself” and model Christ (Phil. 2:3).
The antidote to meaningless discussions and legalistic morality is a love that comes from “a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (v.5).
Like the Risen Christ, we may still bear wounds and will still encounter the problems of being in this world, however, the Divine Love is there to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things with and for us.
This intimacy with God is not a matter of us searching out and finding God, but simply allowing ourselves to be open to being found by God.
For the Franciscans, the Cross doesn’t change God’s opinion of us (as damnable sinners who need to be redeemed), rather it changes our opinion about God (not as a deity demanding a sacrifice but as an eternally loving reality that desires communion with us despite our brokenness).
Whenever we put forth a truth statement, that statement must be true to all people, at all times, in all places, and in all disciplines. Rohr’s basic point is that God’s pattern and presence is everywhere and so discoverable by anyone.
God’s agapic love to and for all things is also his erotic love of moving all things towards himself, and our agapic self-abandonment of all things to God is our erotic acquisition of him.
The existential gap between the Divine Reality and our Human Condition is closed only through the union of the Human and the Divine in Jesus Christ. And in the closing of that gap, we find our True Self.