05 Jun Wednesday
In the “C” cycle for Pentecost there are two options for the second reading; the first is the choice in all three years of the cycles. The options from the core of Paul’s theology and anthropology in Romans 6-8. The key concept is conformity to Christ in a summary of “as above, so below” cosmology. dThe contrast is spirit and flesh, which seems to come very much from Plato.
What does it mean to say, “if Christ is in you?” And again, “dwells in you?” The vocabulary explaining this is “belonging”, “dwelling”, “according to,” and “by the Spirit.” The body is conformed to this world, the spirit conformed to Christ. This conformity issue is intense for our own culture and for us personally. The world is overwhelming and enticing and certainly easier than th work of the spiritual life. This is what the saints get, and I still find very hard. There’s an abundance of examples of our conformity to this world, our conflation of our nationalism and the reign of God (it’s not), and the wide distance between sets of values.
Paul’s “sons of God” strikes us insensitive, but he almost seems to correct himself, because in the remainder of the passage he uses the gender free “children” of the Father. He is being as inclusive as we would hope for him.