This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
Pariahs, Paul and the New Creation 070212
In Galatians 6 Paul talks to new disciples: 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! Hidden in this chapter is so much wisdom and faith. It is somehow obscured by all the circumcision talk.
If Paul were talking to me about circumsicision, it would be vital information. It was important to the people who followed Moses into the desert, because of the disease syphilis, which had plagued Egypt before they left or (were chashed out). Circumsicision is thought to prevent syphilis or at least reveal it plainly.
The Hebrews were like pariahs perhaps, who could not be touched or would not try to touch anyone. But whether they were chased by the Pharaoh or fled, the mark of circumsicision is a mark of ‘pariahs’ for them, they were a people set apart because of their radical diseases, or because of their radical disease prevention. The persecution of the Jewish people is maybe tied up with this intent to be pariahs in some way, a people apart and victimized. Paul has to talk about to dismiss the whole topic as now not important.
So, I wonder if Paul is saying that we don’t have to mark ourselves as pariahs, or don’t have to become like pariahs? In any case, we now know that no matter our differences, or diseases, it is not important. It makes no difference whether we are pariahs, or act like pariahs, what is important is the new creation of Jesus. The new creation is everything.
Pray for peace
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.
Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.
1Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly? All day long
2you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery.
3You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah
4You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
5But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,
7“See the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!”
8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
9I will thank you forever, because of what you have done. In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.
31In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 2Mortal, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes: Whom are you like in your greatness? 3Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon, with fair branches and forest shade, and of great height, its top among the clouds. 4The waters nourished it, the deep made it grow tall, making its rivers flow around the place it was planted, sending forth its streams to all the trees of the field. 5So it towered high above all the trees of the field; its boughs grew large and its branches long, from abundant water in its shoots. 6All the birds of the air made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the animals of the field gave birth to their young; and in its shade all great nations lived. 7It was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots went down to abundant water. 8The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor the fir trees equal its boughs; the plane trees were as nothing compared with its branches; no tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty. 9I made it beautiful with its mass of branches, the envy of all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God.
10Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because it towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height, 11I gave it into the hand of the prince of the nations; he has dealt with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12Foreigners from the most terrible of the nations have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs lie broken in all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth went away from its shade and left it.
11See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! 12It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! 16As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. 18May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.