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Lectionary reflections - Year A
Ordinary Time
Proper 14

1 Kings 19.9–18
Romans 10.5–15
Matthew 14.22–33

There is something about us that is deeply resistant to the grace of God. It’s not that we don’t believe in him, or wish to follow him, or that we consciously reject him, but we simply cannot help reverting to the belief that all of this is something ‘we’ do, something we have to achieve with our own efforts. We act as though God is far away and a hard taskmaster, who has to be won over by our grim attempts to read his mind and so please him.

For once, in Romans 5, Paul is making a direct comparison between the law and justification by faith. Usually he is at pains to say that the law is not innately bad, it’s just that we are not capable of keeping it. But here he is comparing what he sees as the attitude behind these two ways of approaching God. The law, he says, is about doing things. It is about a kind of credit and debit account that God keeps, so that you might, theoretically, end up in credit, but the chances are strongly against it.

Faith, on the other hand, is an acceptance of what God has done, in sending Jesus and raising him from the dead...

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

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