In this episode, we take a look at one of the lectionary readings for Sunday September 3. We dig into Romans 12:9-21 and talk about…
- how parts of this passage are pulled out of context and abused by some white Christians in response to white supremacists and Nazis marching on Charlottesville
- love is not a generic feeling, it includes specific actions
- Jesus & Nonviolence: A Third Way
- the responsibility that comes with calling for nonviolence
- love is an action
- how Biblical teachings are sometimes quite aggressive, while seeming “nice” on the surface
- Paul’s audience in this letter — and why that matters
- God’s different messages for the powerful and the marginalized
Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.
If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord. Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head. Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.
Photo by alisdare1
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