Lectionary Year A
September 15, 2002
Romans 14:1-12

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) This lection seems to be a mantra for acceptance/welcoming and relating properly and respectfully with others with other values and/or faiths and/or practices based on differing faiths. It also minces no words with challenging the receivers of this Epistle to avoid judging/despising others of other ways for doing things according to their beliefs, even and perhaps especially if they differ from the orthodox ones the recipients practice. It repeats the varieties of customs and raises other traditions into the realm of propriety, stating that they are in the context of being within the will of (their?) God(s?). It highlights the responsibility of mainstream believers to tolerate others' differences.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Quite naturally, vegetarians will likely be offended by the judgmentalism, against which this passage preaches, in its calling their preferences indicative of weakness (of faith?). Does Paul intend that reaction? Just how broadminded is this Apostle being here? Does he practice what he writes/dictates? Just how inclusively does he mean that all live and die in the Lord, the Lord of the living and the dead?

C. Organization

(JFC) The vegetarians are at the end of the second verse. Weakness is part of the opening verse. Inclusively living and dying in the Lord is in the 8th and 9th verses.

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