Today’s Lenten word comes from Romans 11:1-12 NRSV
1I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.[a]
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,
“God gave them a sluggish spirit,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”
9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and keep their backs forever bent.”
11 So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling[b] salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel[c] jealous. 12 Now if their stumbling[d] means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
Today’s meditation word(s) is I ask. It comes from the Greek word legó meaning to say, to speak, to tell. The word is used twice in this passage followed by a question.
As I was reading the passage I remember someone telling me before (and I have heard it more than once) that questioning what the Bible says is questioning God, and questioning God is blasphemy or a sign of disbelief. Do not ask questions, believe what I am saying because God (or I – the person with authority, Bible college degree/M.Div, or certificate to minister/pastor) is the authority.
Now, I ask questions about the Christian canon, about God, about religion… etc. The way I see God can be different or similar from other people. That’s the beauty of God. God is different and is experienced differently from person to person, from culture to culture…
So, I encourage you to ask all the questions you have about your faith/belief. I hope and pray that in your journey you experience God and find who/what God is to you.