Lectionary Year B
December 26, 1999
(JFC) A. SUMMARY OF SALIENT FEATURES
The question of time's import in this passage takes on greater emphasis as we begin the hermeneutical bridges and realize this sermon gets preached the day after Christmas, the day beginning the week when Y2K eventuates. The center of theological gravity is found in God's primacy in the pericope. The other major concerns include Jesus" redeeming and our being God's children. The minor concerns include Christ's humanity and His Spirit's crying in our hearts. Then, the negative ideas contrasting what God has done for us in Christ cannot go unmentioned as elements worthy of consideration.
(JFC) B. SMOOTH TRANSLATION
4 When came the fullness of time, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 so that He could redeem those still under the law, so that we could receive adoption. 6 Since you are children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying, "Abba, Father". 7 Therefore, no longer are you slaves, rather you are children; and since children, also you are heirs by God's giving along with Christ.
(JFC) C. HERMENEUTICAL BRIDGE
We all need a sense of belonging. We need to know we are a part of a family, of service organizations, labor unions, fraternal orders, social clubs, political parties, etc. Togetherness and belonging are part of what it means to live a fulfilling life. Alone and/or without fellowship, we languish. God announces in this text that we belong to the Most High, that we are adopted, that we are in this thing called life together with Christ. We belong without having to fork over any initiation fee, without having to pledge any loyalty or anything else, for that matter. We pay no dues, no assessments, no demerit charges. We are children of God. This belonging gives us bridges to cross as life goes on from an old year to a new one.
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