This week we are gathering to discuss Romans 11. For the last two weeks, we have read about Paul’s struggle to understand why his people have rejected their Messiah and what that means. Paul reaches the understanding that this rejection is all part of God’s plan. The Jewish people first had to reject Jesus so that the Gentiles could be grafted onto the tree of Abraham. In Chapter 11, Paul concludes that this rejection is not final because God’s promise to his people is irrevocable regardless of their initial rejection. In my (limited) experience, Christians who have lost a loved one who was not Christian (or even religious), will often hold on to this same hope that the person they love will not be forsaken by God, and that the person’s rejection of all things Divine in this life is not final. Many (though certainly not all) theologians in the early church also held to this hope. I have attached an excerpt from Olivier Clément’s (a French-born, Russian Orthodox theologian) The Roots of Early Christian Mysticism which gives a brief overview of these writings. pp.296-307
Dinner at 6. The menu is peppers and squash stuffed with lamb and/or veal. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, *Psalm 103:1-4
and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, *
and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins *
and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave *
and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;