Having just finished reading through the prophet Isaiah at the end of last week, I turned back to the New Testament to be re-acquainted with Paul’s letters to the churches.
Like for many of you, Paul’s letters have been constant companions. Always challenging, the letters continue to inspire and inform my thinking and preaching.
Yesterday, I began reading the letter to the Galatians. And, right away I came across some words that surprised and lifted me. In the first couple of chapters, Paul is reminding us that the only measure of God’s acceptance of us is faith. Paul argues that religious observances and practices mean nothing when it comes to preaching the Gospel and inviting others to live by faith in Jesus, and, by extension, nobody should be required to immerse themselves in observances, practices, special celebrations and festivals. In fact, focussing on these things will likely draw us away from the core of God’s intentions for us.
So, what were the surprising words?
It is just one word. I was expecting to read was pleased to reveal his Son to me. In-stead, I read was pleased to reveal his Son
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…(1:15-16)
It is just one word. I was expecting to read was pleased to reveal his Son to me. Instead, I read was pleased to reveal his Son in me. That one tiny word profoundly changes my understanding of what God promises us as individuals and his church as his body .Yes, we can’t begin this Christian life unless Jesus is first revealed to us as Lord and Saviour, but God’s profound intention is that, when people see us and engage with us, they will see Jesus and engage with Him.
Simply put, the promises to reveal God’s Son in us is the core ingredient of our witness of God’s love and salvation in Christ to the world around us.
Grace and blessings, Reverend Ross