Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

I am desperately trying to move on from the ‘Thesis’ statement of Paul’s Letter to the Church in Rome (3:21ff), as it might appear to some that the subject is exhausted. But, THE TIMES SAY ‘NOT SO’! The fact of our ‘situation in life’: a very present ‘SHUT DOWN’ of the Nation’s Government is THE most timely exemplification of this text— “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law.”

Albert Schweitzer’s contribution to the field of New Testament Biblical Studies is so unnoticed that a revival of his works is always in due season. Born to a Lutheran Pastor father, his lineage records many pastors and organists; easy to see his gifts in these two areas as his inheritance. It is also significant to note that he wrote 3 dissertations for corresponding degrees which he earned; to include his dissertation on ‘The Lord’s Supper’ which is perhaps, I think, the most important piece of his thought which later undergirds his concept of “Christ-mysticism” in Paul.

We have already taken note of his major work “The Quest For The Historical Jesus”, a work that has greatly influenced my theology; but here we cross paths with Schweitzer’s work “The Mysticism of Paul The Apostle”. Here he makes these statements: “The fundamental thought of Paul’s mysticism runs thus: I am in Christ; in Him I know myself as a being who is raised above this sensuous, sinful and transient world and already belongs to the transcendent; in Him I am assured of ressurection; in Him I am a Child of God.” “…the elect share with one another and with Christ in corporeity.”

It is being stated that if the laws concerning campaign financing are overturned, then 500 men will rule this country and determine the direction of the lives of America’s 315 million people.

I say, take a closer look and see that revealed in this ‘Shut Down’ is a fact that ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ have given over ALL of LIFE, ALL of our RESOURCES, ALL of our Economic and Social direction to as little as “10” men— all of whom handle ‘the law’ APART from the Righteousness of God, APART from the Justice of God! I say, this ‘SHUT DOWN’ is the WINDOW that God has opened TO REVEAL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, HIS JUSTICE— apart from the law! The very ‘self-serving’ way in which these men handle the law gives clarity to the will and purpose of God thru Jesus Christ— “if any man would come after me, let him ‘deny himself’, take up a cross…”

It is true what the Prophets of old have said, “where there is no vision, the people, (the ‘demos’, the democracy) perishes.” And again, “my people (my demos) are destroyed for lack of knowledge of God.” Still again, “Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people (demos) have changed their glory for something that does not profit.”

Even when we can’t see the revelation of the righteousness and justice of God, this call is to a RELEASING and RETURNING of The CHURCH as the CENTER OF ALL CORPORATE LIFE with the demand for full accountability of it’s leadership also. “I am in Christ; in Him I know myself as a being who is raised above this sensuous, sinful and transient world and already belongs to the transcendent; in Him I am assured of ressurection; in Him I am a Child of God.” “…the elect share with one another and with Christ in corporeity.”

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