When I read this Sunday’s Gospel lesson, and saw that Paul’s – let’s be honest – somewhat cringeworthy letter to Philemon was also up for consideration, I wondered if I might have waited on this new, lectionary-based blessings project until after Labor Day.
But there are blessings to be found in a challenge, too. Some even seek out the hard stuff (I’m still getting over the Olympics), driving beyond what is reasonable or realistic for a person to do, always striving for greater sacrifice, deeper commitment, breaking …
May you know deep freedom.
May you make high sacrifice.
May the witness of your life and labour turn even your enemies towards God,
by the grace of God, through the sacrifice of Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33
Aside from Paul’s inability to come out and state anything clearly, what makes his letter to Philemon cringe-worthy? I’ve always got a laugh out of it.
I imagine that “no slave or free” rang hollow to a slave being returned to his owner – however politely Paul asked him to consider receiving him graciously. That makes me cringe.