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

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) This pericope's theological focal point seems to be the God who welcomes all, eaters and abstainers, who is honored by all, to whom all give thanks, in whom all live and also die, to whom all praise is given and before whom all are accountable. Likewise, the Christ who died and lives yet and whose we are while we live and when we die is a major element in this passage, too. The other foremost part of this lection is in the prohibition of judging others. It is overshadowed only by the other human role of living and dieing in God/Christ. These possibilities leave to be secondary matters the differing thoughts/opinions/motives which tend to get judged by derogatory ways of thinking. The others' masters also might warrant mentioning as important yet relatively insignificant.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 But (concerning) any ones being weak in the faith, you will welcome/accept them, not for discriminating/arguing/disputing with their thoughts/opinions/ideas. 2 One believes to eat everything, but the one weak eats only vegetables (for example). 3 You will not reject/despise/treat with contempt the ones eating (any certain things/ways), nor will you judge those not eating (such) things. 4 Who are you to judge another's servant? They with their own Lord stand or fall; but they will be put/made to stand (there), for the Lord places/establishes them. 5 One believes (considers/prefers/thinks) one day more than/above another day, but another considers/regards/determines every day (equally important); each in the individually discernment/understanding will be accomplished/satisfied. 6 He who is thinking highly of the day to the Lord is thinking highly (well). And the one eating in the Lord eats (acceptably), for he gives thanks to the God. 7 For none of us unto himself (alone) lives and none of us unto himself (alone) dies; 8 for when/if we live, (it is) in the Lord we live, if/when we die, (it is) in the Lord we die. If/when then we live or even if/when we die, (it is) in the Lord we are/live/remain. 9 For to this (end/in this reason) Christ died and He lives, in order that our dieing and our living should be in the Lord. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or also you, why do you despise/treat with contempt your brother? For all will stand before the judicial bench of God, 11 for it is written; As I live, says the Lord, that to/before me shall every knee bow And all tongue/language/utterance shall acknowledge me (as) God. 12 So every one of you concerning/with reference to yourself shall give an accounting to God (rather than to yourselves only).

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) The week before this text produces a sermon to be preached is the week observing the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy of New York City's World Trade Center's towers being demolished by hijacked airplanes and the hijacked airplane's being crashed into the Pentagon and another one in Pennsylvania's countryside. Many a statement will appear in most media that might express hopes to get together with people of different faiths such as Muslims, Arabs, Jews and Christians. Several promos (this paper is written two weeks before the Sunday this text is to be preached) say they expect "Interfaith Dialogues that will lead to Building Relationships". We can hope they do and pray for it.

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