Sunday, June 2, 2013

Paul's Letter to the Galatians

Today's epistle (letter) from the Revised Common Lectionary was Galatians 1:1-12.

I like reading the letters of the Bible.  The writers pull no punches when they outline what the problems are in a given community.  However, they don't just point out faults, they also empathize with their readers and tell them how to resolve their problems.
This letter, attributed to St. Paul, was likely sent by courier to its intended congregation.  I wonder what it would be like today, if Paul Skyped the congregation.  The writing is so vivid, I can almost see him exhorting the congregation to turn away from the "different" (false) gospel and return to Christ.  

This letter, like the others also shows that people, at the core, have not changed that much in two thousand years:
"Am I now seeking human approval, or God's approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
This reading only covers the salutation and beginning of the letter.  But even here, we can see that the solution to the Galatians' problems lies in their focus.  Keeping the focus on Christ and his teachings will lead to becoming a servant of Christ.  Straying from that focus, following a false gospel, will lead to problems, which Paul writes about in the rest of the letter.

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