Epiphany 1 – Year A
It would seem that there is a problem - the phrase "shows no partiality" is immediately followed by the word "but". It sounds as though there is a partiality about to arrive. In this case, partiality is based on whether one currently and consistently fears God and does what God says is right.
This is the usual way of the world and the world sees itself in the image of God, so this is understood to be the partiality of God.
How to get out of this bind between "no partiality" and "but"?
Look again at verse 38 – God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power – as a result Jesus (God in disguise) went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.
If folk in this or any nation are not up to doing good, G*D is. If folk in this or any nation aren't up to loving, healing is still available to them.
The very bind God sets up G*D subverts.
May it be so with us - that the very bind we set up to entrap others into being like ourselves will find itself subverted by the better-angel of forgiveness already winging its way within ourselves. We are witnesses of forgiveness and know the prophets stopped too soon when the suggestion is made that forgiveness is limited by belief.
Beloved, do justice – forgive the yet unforgiven.