Tuesday, April 27, 2021
No Matter the Road Ahead of Us
God Chose Us
To Go and Bless All People
As God Has Blessed Us.
I took you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off.’
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
Words of Grace For Today
The history is that God chose the Israelites, only the Israelites. Everyone else was unchosen and unclean. This we humans do to make ourselves special: we claim that we are chosen and all others are not. This does not make us special. It makes us typically self-centric, arrogant, and judgmental.
When Paul was converted after Saul went blind on the road to Damascus, he studied for years, held himself in retreat from activity. He underwent a profound change, from an effective, eager, persistent pursuer and persecutor of Christians, to a leading proponent of Jesus’ Way of living, i.e. by Grace.
Paul did not restrict sharing the Good News, which he encountered as Jesus’ Way of being God’s people, with just the traditionally ‘chosen’, the Israelites. Paul went out to share the Good News with anyone and everyone who would listen and wanted to be baptized in this Way of living.
That brought the obvious question: were the Jews wrong to claim God had chosen them, or had God changed God’s mind and rejected those God had earlier ‘chosen’?
Paul’s answer is simple: No. God’ choosing people is expanded, not ended. The Jews are still chosen, as are all other people who Christ calls to follow his Way.
History repeats itself. Many times God’s people have declared that only they are God’s chosen. As many times God’s message comes to bear on the mess this exclusive claim creates: God’s chosen are chosen, DOCH God does not choose only some people. God chooses all people.
Our human way of living does not make sense of this very well, if at all.
It does not need to. God still chooses all people and offers them abundant life. Not life in abundance (of wealth, things, etc.), but life filled to overflowing with blessings and the ability to share those blessings with others, all others.
God gathers us from the ends of the earth, from all corners of creation, claims us as God’s servants, does not cast us off, and sends us out to share the Good News. (Like Paul.)
What a life!