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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
As we enter this Season after Pentecost, we encounter again the God who creates and delights in us, loves us, frees us, and calls us into discipleship. On Trinity Sunday, the texts invite us to explore images of God: Creator, Wisdom, Saviour, Spirit who guides into all truth. As we explore who God is, we rejoice in God’s world and work with God to care for creation. Psalm 8 When the psalmist looks at the created world, there is amazement. How majestic God is! God’s glory is seen in all that God has made. We human beings, even the youngest, respond to such wonders with praise for God’s goodness and loving care. God is our strong support. The middle section of the psalm celebrates humankind. The psalmist is amazed that God is mindful of us. Though insignificant in size compared to the majesty of the skies, we are just a little lower than God and "crowned with glory and honour" – an attribute usually given to God. We are made in God’s image, and this psalm celebrates our special place in the world God has made What does it mean to be "crowned with honour"? Verses 6 to 8 spell this out. We are given dominion over the created world. Does "dominion" mean having control over the earth to abuse it at will? We do need the harvest of land and sea in order to live. Yet often we abuse our position and act in ways harmful to the environment and to others with whom we share this planet. "Dominion" is not domination. God trusts us to look after the world and calls us to be partners in caring for creation. How can we be mindful of creation as God is mindful of us? Another story of creation is told in Proverbs 8:1–4, 22–31. It describes Wisdom, a female figure – the first to be created by God and God’s partner when all things were made. Some readings of the text describe Wisdom as "like a master worker," helping God with the work of creation. Some say "like a little child," delighting in the human race, the crown of God’s creation. Wisdom claps her hands with joy, a wonderful image of the playfulness present in creating such a varied and amazing world. Also sounding the theme of God’s amazing love for us, in Romans 5:1–15 Paul reminds us that we are justified by faith. Through Jesus Christ, obedient to God even to death, we have access to God’s grace and peace with God. Christians in Rome faced severe persecution. Paul encourages them to hang on to their belief in God’s loving care. Some have misused this passage to suggest that suffering is necessary in order to produce hope. Rather, Paul is lifting up the assurance of God’s own presence with us in the midst of the world’s tribulations. We celebrate the faith and hope that God’s love pours into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is glorified by God’s Spirit, and that glory comes to us as God’s children. In John 16:12–15, Jesus promises the gift of the Spirit to guide us into truth. The Spirit helps us understand who Jesus is. The Spirit is our mentor, teaching us to take up our role as disciples. Sunday's lessons are a series of snapshots revealing something of who God is. The theme of glory recurs through these images – God’s glory, the glory and honour that crown humankind, and the glory of God that we share in Christ. God delights in us and in the created world; yet, we are limited by our humanity and cannot know God fully. Where do we catch glimpses of God’s greatness? How do we become partners with God in care for creation? In care for others? How is the Spirit guiding us as we learn what it means to be a disciple?

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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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