September 15, 2015 Psalm 95, Colossians 2, Psalm 18:1-15 (22)

At Gene’s request, we are incorporating Psalms into our schedule, one at the beginning and one at the end. Tom suggested that we follow the schedule used by the monks at the New Melleray Abbey. The link to their schedule is here New Melleray Abbey Psalm Schedule The schedule of Psalms given in the schedule is done according to the Hebrew version, but most of us have the Greek version, so the number is one greater than the one listed.

Early Christians were trying to figure things out about Jesus and who he was and what his ministry was about. Paul was trying to help them out and speak to the problems that were most vexing to each of the churches. They were having troubles in Colossus figuring out whether they needed to follow the Jewish laws and regulations, so in this chapter Paul addresses that question.  Paul says we should not be bound by rules of Sabbath, and other such rules. He talks about emancipation from the law on one hand but on the other hand how orderly your life and faith in Christ is. We discussed the order in our lives and how many of us have a set schedule and when we can’t follow it we become upset. The idea here is that we need to have a discipline and order to guide our faith in Christ. Paul is giving his interpretation of Jesus to the people of the area. Many times we are more interested in hard and fast, black and white rules that we can follow, like the clerk in Kentucky who has the rule about not allowing gay marriage. Yet she ignores other possibly equally relevant rules for her life. How do we decide when we should use civil disobedience to address moral stands on various issues. This is an age old problem, and if we take this tack, we need to take the consequences of our actions from the civil authorities. Look at the many years Desmond TuTu spent in prison for his objection to apartheid. What should we think about euthanasia? Where does the moral line fall between encouraging life and admitting there is no hope of continuing life. Chuck talked about his daughter who had a massive stroke and they decided to cease life support despite her desire to continue life, but she would not have had a real life and would have had an existence of a vegetable. But she was not going to be alive in any real life. What about the role of angel worship that is outlawed here? Does this become the end for many people such as various Catholics. This may be a matter of support for our faith that helps out in situations. Can people use an angel or Mary to intercede in their faith as a helper. Mark made this somewhat cryptic comment that “the most compelling thing about theology is heresy” and I think it means that you study what is meant in theology by studying the things that are labeled heresies. In this chapter, we are looking at the heresies surrounding the thought by some in the early Christian movement that to be a Christian, you first had to be a Jew and that you had to follow the practices of Jews. Paul said that was not the case. However, this was somewhat a contention between Paul and Peter. Peter was in Jerusalem where the church was based on the Jewish people there, while in Colossus, many people became Christians who had not been Jews. We concluded with Psalm 18:1-15.

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