Lectionary Year A
August 4, 2002

Romans 9:1-5
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) We might hope to approach some declarations of God's gifts being fulfilled, beyond human imagination, in Christ.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) This paragraph might produce a sermon appropriate for any congregation needing some increasing appreciation for Christology prefigured in the Old Testament.

C. Address

(JFC) a sermon, entitled for this working draft, "Christ Overcomes Distress"

You know what has recently made you sad and distressed and I know mine . . . (Preacher, perhaps a couple of local such troubles could be judiciously mentioned.)

I. God, the Giver

A. God calls them, "My people and I am your God." God adopts them as "children of the Most High . . ." Stop and think of the image of being God's children. It is empowering at least.

B. God gives covenants as well as The Law. See the first part of Step IV, B, above. It lists several Old Testament passages embodying these points of importance Paul regrets toe Jews in Rome lacked appreciating and participating in.

II. Christ, the Fulfiller

A. Romans 8:39 assures us that nothing can separate us from Christ, so, believe it and take advantage of such an irreversible relationship. He exaggerates (in verse 3) for the sake of the point he is trying to make.

B. This Christ comes from the Jews' own people, a Son of David, etc. Remember, families were of supreme importance to that Biblical culture, for economic as well as psychological, emotional reasons, etc., etc.

III. Israel, the Kinsfolk

A. Paul's concern was paramount for his people-of-origin, who could have been both receptive of God's gifts and obedient to Jesus' call for them all to follow Him. Staying with the Robin Williams' types of movie characters, could "Patch Adams" (or, "Awakenings", of course!) exemplify this point?

B. Paul's exemplary concern for the Jews could very well be emulated by us, re: we could develop concern for all people of all faiths as well as any of no faith. His paradigm of self-sacrifice for them is an exaggeration, but it makes a good point, re: his desire for them to become Christians, even if that model is extreme.

The gifts God gives us are priceless. Jesus' gift of His dieing for our salvation astounds us. The people of our families-of-origin confirm God's gifts, especially those of love. Does the movie "Good Will Hunting" illustrate human pilgrimages through maturation toward following one who portrays, even in Hollywood's motif of love?

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