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Lectionary reflections - Year A
Ordinary Time
Proper 11

Isaiah 44.6–8
Romans 8.12–25
Matthew 13.24–30, 36–43

This section of Romans is part of a long and not always lucid discussion of life and death, slavery and freedom. In chapter 6, Paul has been explaining that our Christian baptism means choosing Jesus’s death and life rather than our own. On the whole, this choice is glorious for us. It means that we are no longer tied to sin and bound to do what sin tells us and pay the terrible price that follows. So it is freedom and life. But there are ongoing consequences from our previous life which sometimes make it hard for us to remember our new-found freedom. Sometimes we still act like slaves, rather than free people.

Then in chapter 7 Paul gives an illustration which is supposed to show what a good thing the death of the old life is. Once somebody is dead, the duties and debts you owed them are cancelled, Paul argues. So when you choose the death and life of Christ as your own, you are free of the things that bound you in your old life.

Finally, in chapter 8, Paul is looking at mechanisms – how does Jesus’s death and life free us, and what does our freedom mean in practice? Paul’s simple, compelling answer is that our freedom means life...

Taken from Lectionary reflections year A by Jane Williams - Published by SPCK

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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