"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Living by Faith
Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21 Commentary
by Mary Hinkle Shore
One of the things that makes preaching on Paul’s letters difficult is that for centuries they have been pressed into service as raw material for doctrinal debate.
This may be even more true of Galatians than other letters due to its heavy use of language concerning justification. To help recover some of the pastoral concern of the letter for 21st-century readers, I propose the following thought experiment: read the argument about “justification” as an argument over what it means to belong to the people of God. Replace the words “justify” and “justification” with “belong” and “belonging.” In the following commentary, I attempt such an experiment.
How do people know they belong? How do we know we belong to God? And if we do belong to God, how do others know?
Groups of people need boundary markers both to identify themselves as a group and to identify that some people do not belong. The church I serve has a Sunday school class named “TTF.” The letters stand for “twenties, thirties, and forties,” and people over 49 years of age know not to ask to attend. Members ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL273: Living by Faith
May 21, 2017
This podcast on Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21, the Narrative Lectionary reading for May 21, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.