Prayer: Dear God, when we come across something that is not part of your love for us, our love for you and for others, may we be astonished enough to speak out and claim your Word as true. Amen
Reading: Galatians 1: 1-12 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: As a substitute elementary school teacher, I developed "a look" that worked in getting the students' attention and bringing them around to expected behavior. It was not a withering look of disapproval but rather a look of utter astonishment that said, "How could you possibly think that behavior was going to be acceptable? Oh, no, no, no! Not on my watch." Most of the time the astonished look worked; especially if followed by a clear explanation of expectations and assurance that the day will be a good one.
Perhaps this is what Paul was up to as wrote his letter to the people of Galatia. He is angry. The Galations were turning to a different gospel - or at least being confused by some who were perverting the gospel of Christ. He says, "I am astonished...!" Can you imagine the look he would have given them? A look of utter shock and dismay which basically said, "How could you possibly think that behavior was going to be acceptable? Oh, no, no, no! Not on my watch." What follows is a clear explanation of expectations and assurance of God's love and forgiveness.
When we are faced with what is not part of God's love for us or our love for Him and for others, we too should be astonished! Then we can clearly explain what we believe and be assured God's Word is true. --Ruth Gates
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