Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
For Trinity Sunday our Epistle features what is probably a piece of writing that is older than the rest of the letter to the Romans. In Romans 11 verses 34-36 are typically set off in a way that suggests a quotation, but the quotation is not from anything in the Old Testament. Many scholars would suggest that these passages were theological statements used by the early Christians in their worship, which were then included in the New Testament writings because the familiar snippet accurately reflected what the author wanted to express. By the time Paul is writing Romans they aren’t old enough to be considered ancient, but they may have dated back to the earliest weeks and months of the Christian period, some twenty or so years before the apostle wrote the letter.
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who is worthy to correct God. Really, who is qualified to say, “God’s Word says [fill in a moral or ethical statement] but we actually know [fill in the opposite]? That’s the work of those who deny the Holy Spirit. It says that God really didn’t know what he was talking about and that if the people he was inspiring to write an authoritative account of his will failed to understand something he was unable to prompt them in the right direction. It’s the height of arrogance, for it places our human reason on the throne and says that God, the creator, redeemer, and sustainer of all is answerable to my inclination.
Really? Do we think we give anything to God so that he owes us something in return? Christianity has always confessed that everything that is good comes from God’s gracious hand, including the things we need and the things we don’t need, in times of poverty and in times of abundance. And we think we are in a position to bargain with God, to loan him something and make him repay?
No, we can do nothing of the sort, nor should we try. All that we have comes from God. We simply return to Him what he has let us borrow.
The entire idea is summed up by the fact that all glory goes to God, forever. We may come up with some sort of glory that seems, at times, to be ours. This is because we are created in the image of God. But it’s just a faint reflection of God’s glory. It’s just enough light to make us think it would be good to have more light.
God’s riches, yes, that’s what we need. And the Lord has graciously poured out those riches upon his people, giving them the gifts they need. Thanks be to God.
Back to the fact that we were apparently quoting something? As long as there has been Christianity, there have been people proclaiming God’s glory. We join with countless other people to do the same.
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