“Die – Live – Reign.” by The Rev. Kaji Douša

November 10th,2022 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Church,

I’d like to tell you a bit about this week’s passage from 2 Timothy. It’s part of a collection of 3 epistles, or letters, in Paul’s name (most scholars would say pseudepigraphally) called the Pastorals. This particular letter to Timothy is voiced from the apostle Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. He will later die there, a Roman citizen executed by his own state.

If you read the pastorals, you’ll see so much of the language that divides the church, in large part, because of this dangerous habit of taking a specific admonition in a specific context made because of a specific set of circumstances that were clearly not adhered to by the majority of Jesus-loving Christ-followers. So, in these letters, you’re seeing a perspective that was hotly debated by believers. But if you were to listen to 1 Timothy, no woman could teach or preach the gospel. And all slaves would have to honor their masters. Or if you were to listen to Titus, you’d conclude that slaves must be submissive to their masters and not talk back in any way and to satisfy their masters in all ways. That’s just wrong. That’s scripture as weapon – a weapon that would be wielded against our peoples for millennia – and God has no part of God in that.

But there are components of the spirit of this letter, in particular – 2 Timothy – that are worth our prayerful attention. He may be wrong on the rules, but I don’t think the author is wrong on God. Which is why we hear from him today.

Join us in worship for our penultimate Sunday before – get this – Advent begins!

Pastor Kaji

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:8-13 (Year W, page 270):

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, from the line of David [and Bathsheba]; that is my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship, even to chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Because of this, therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, in order that they may also obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 This is a trustworthy saying:For if we die together, we will also live together;

12  if we endure, we will also reign together;

if we deny [Christ], he will also deny us;

13  if we are faithless, faithful he remains,

for he cannot deny himself.