Lectionary Year A
August 25, 2002
Romans 12:1-8

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) Paul seems here to be urging his colleagues receiving this Epistle to get their lives in proper perspective, God's perspective. He claims it is their "spiritual worship" to do so and that they are, in point of fact, indicating its factuality via the indicative case, all together in being the Body of Christ which gets priorities set as he advises here. He recognizes their diversities, at least in functions, and moves beyond them to recommend how to implement their various skills/gifts/abilities. He mentions several examples of their various capabilities in not very parallel parallelisms, as if he were dictating via a stream of consciousness. Next, he uses a few "if . . . then" models to express some possibilities in participial terms followed by imperatival commands. Then he covers more generally the proper attitudes out of which they are to execute their responsibilities. He uses right straightforward verbiage, dealing with several examples of such tasks he seems assured exist there in Rome.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) First, it seems to be a bit questionable that he would begin this section with such a shocking appeal if in the infinitive form (parasth/sai). And, then, too, is it really "their spiritual worship" to do as he says? Further, does the "renewal of the mind" transform one as he states? Wonder how many other "gifts that differ" he might have enumerated? And, how many more imperatives might he have wanted to add to the list that concludes this pericope?

C. Organization

(JFC) The initial "shocking appeal" occurs in the first verse where their "spiritual worship" image concludes that verse (1). The "renewal of the mind" comes in 2b. The differing gifts are listed from verse 6 through 8 and the concluding imperatives go from the ninth through the twelfth verses.

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