Posted by: abbiewatters | November 30, 2011

Expecting the Word – Advent One – Wednesday

My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).

1 Corinthians 1:3-9.

Wow! After my little rant yesterday about the names for God, and how I (try to remember to) speak of the Holiness, we have this passage from Corinthians where Paul is reminding us that “the coming Gospel of Jesus Christ arrives through words.” Once more, I encourage you to compare the passage from the NRSV and the Inclusive Bible. The thing that just jumps out at me today is the difference in use of “Lord” and “Savior”.

I know that the compilers of the Inclusive Bible were very deliberate in using Savior (or as I like to say, Redeemer). Lord, is not used, not only because of the masculine connotations, but also because of the power and ruling implications. If you really think about it, Jesus modeled a life of shared power. He gave his power away to the disciples and to everyone else. In the wilderness and on the cross he refused to show his power, even though he could have. He was much more interested in empowering those around him to carry on his redemption of society and the world.

I have heard people say they are uncomfortable with being a liturgist in church because they have to read or say the words of forgiveness. They seem to believe that forgiveness or redemption is an act reserved for God – in Holiness and Power! At PHPC we avoid that by having the congregation forgive each other, and themselves, when we say together “We are saved by grace, through faith – in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.” That’s the ultimate sharing of power – it bestows “Lordship” on each of us. We are a priesthood of all believers, and there is no Lord, only a Savior who shares all power with us.

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