Tonight we will gather to discuss Romans 12. Secular society teaches us that the goal in life is self-actualization. We must “find” ourselves and live up to our potential. It is the maximization of the self and the maximization of our identity. But what the church teaches (see, the Catechism) is that whenever we engage in such an exercise, we soon put ourselves in the place of God and only seek after our own will. (1979 BCP 845, 848). It’s what we call “sin” and it leads to the distortion of our relationship between ourselves and God and between ourselves and others. (BCP 848). What Paul describes for us in Romans 12:1-15:6, is what a Christ-actualized life looks like. Jesus says “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt. 10:39. In Romans 12, we see what it looks like to lose our life for Christ. If we are concerned with self-actualization, then our love cannot be genuine or zealous, we cannot bless those who persecute us, or even rejoice with those who rejoice, because each of these activities is ultimately self-less. Paul is not setting up another legal code that must be followed (rejoice when others rejoice or God will punish you), because that will only result in behavior modification. Rather, Paul is showing us a reflection whereby we can see for ourselves whether it is I who lives or Christ who lives within me. Gal. 2:20. As we live into God’s image, it is our very essence which is restored.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is kielbasa, sauerkraut, and perogies. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. . . . Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.Romans 13:8,10