Sunday, April 02, 2017

Lenten Spirit: "To set the mind on the flesh is death"

This Sunday's reading is from Romans 8:6-11, 
"To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you."
Paul is fleshing out a theme he introduced in Romans 7:24-25,
"Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin."
Paul's words of encouragement to the Romans in Romans 8 have to be tempered against the realization that his audience is just as wretched as him.

Most sermons today will probably focus on the positive aspects of being "in the spirit", and the resuscitation of  Lazarus (the Gospel lesson) while totally ignoring the reason why we need the Holy Spirit and Jesus in the first place.

Most pewsitters will probably be too in the flesh to notice.

Just trying to keep everyone in the Lenten spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Those of using the traditional lectionary heard instead Hebrews 9:11-13 and John 8:46-59. We heard about being washed by the blood of the Lamb.