Thursday, December 29, 2011

Galatians 4:4-7

Christmas 1 - Year B

Galatians 4:4-7

Ahh, fullness of time. It’s about time. Do you sense time’s fullness in your life?

We might also talk about the birthing of time. A whole new continuum has been birthed with the choices we make. These choices begin to set up a whole new set of relationships with the rest of creation. Want to adopt a new future, adopt a new choice.

I just picked up a new book, The Jewish Annotated New Testament edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. Another way to approach this is the reflection on verse 6.
6: Spirit of his son, Paul distinguishes between Christ and God but not between the Spirit and Christ. In the fourth century the Nicene Creed distinguished God the Father, God the Son (Christ), and God the Spirit. This Trinitarian conception is unknown to Paul and is barely attested in the NT. Abba! Father. Rabbinic theology, following biblical precedent, often conceived of God as father and Israel as son or sons. Still, although rabbinic prayer were sometimes directed to “our father in heaven” or “our father our king”, no rabbinic prayers invoke God as Abba, which affects a level of intimacy with the divine that made the rabbis uncomfortable. [references to rabbinic works and scripture deleted]
Can you read the New Testament without foisting later conceptual models on it, including your own? While helpful to see how others have dealt with the imponderables of life, there is a freshness available when we have to deal with source material as itself.

I was also intrigued with their observation that the first verses of chapter 4 suggest we are moving on to adulthood, maturity, and in but a few verses the metaphor shifts to being adopted. Try playing with verses 1-2 in comparison with verses 4-5 and see what fits your experience of yourself and your setting.

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