Lectionary Year B
December 26, 1999
Step II: Disposition
(JFC) A. GENRE
The text declares that God sent Christ to redeem those under the Law, to explain /our adoption by God and to assure them/us of our being heirs of God. It repeats the news that the adopted are true children of God, invited to address God as a personal parent rather than as a slave would address an owner. The author seems to want to leave no questions asked, let alone answered. Repetition of terms enhances the dynamics of the argument. It seems to want to emphasis a rather foreign idea or, at least, one very new to the recipients of this message and/or their partners in dialog, regarding these matters.
(JFC) B. PERSONAL INTERACTION
The timing appears to get an emphasis in this text's format. Even though I am an admitted "clock watcher", I usually leave the timing question up to God. This paragraph leads me to focus more attentively upon it. The "being born of a female" I also take rather for granted and am beginning to believe that aspect is worthy of more note, too. However, is Christ's having been "born under the law" different from our suffering in the confines of the law? Does Christ grow out from under the law? Who cries, "Abba, Father", our hearts or the spirit of Christ? I trust the former, at least as much as the latter. I want to use the textual emendation at the end of this pericope. It helps develop the benefits of promises fulfilled.
The adverbial clause that states when this event transpired begins the statement. It resorts to the subject, God and the object, Christ. It then identifies Christ as human, "born of a woman" and begins several references to the reason(s) for the action. They are: 1) redeem slaves to the law and 2) adoption by God. That adoption provides the spirit of Christ's indwelling our hearts and the cry to "Abba, Father". Finally, the text declares again that slavery is a thing of the past and that children of God receive an inheritance with Christ. Good climax.
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