God's Promise Doesn't Stop
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. ~ Romans 9:1-5
Over the past 2000 years, much of our New Testament has been used as a club against our Jewish brethren.
The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John particularly have complex relationships with the Jewish leaders of their time - and their use of the phrase "The Jews" as a catch all has had tragic consequences.
The Christian "supersessionist" theory holds that Christians have succeeded Israel as God's covenantal people. Therefore the promises God made to the Israelites no longer bear any weight.
From the beginning, however, Paul sets out to correct that understanding.
The promise, the covenants, the glory...they still belong to the Jewish people. Paul does not reject being Jewish in origin. He still considers them family.
In fact, Jesus never rejected being a Jew. Jesus lived and died a Jew.
God's promise is bigger and weightier than we could ever imagine.
Why do we keep trying to make God's promise smaller?
Open my ears, my eyes, and my heart to the promises you make to those beyond my own faith tradition. Amen