Thumbnail -After personal reflections, Paul lists seven
privileges God has granted to the Israelites-the apostles community of origin:
divine adoption, glory, covenants, the giving of the law, worship, promises, and the
patriarchs from whom the Messiah descended. Paul, thus affirms the prominent role and
place that the Jewish people have among Christians.
The Problem of Rejection - In the background of the glorious,
redemptive work of Jesus that Paul has just concluded in chapters 1-8, there looms a dark
question: What about Gods chosen people? Pauls own people have rejected the
very Christ who was born from their race . . . How can Gods salvific plan for
humanity be complete without them? How much comfort is it if nothing can separate us from
Gods love when there is apparently something quite capable of separating the chosen
people from Gods love? What is their fate?
Cathartic? - Pauls statements are not only empathetic and
instructive, but perhaps even cathartic; the apostle is willing to suffer to loss of his
own relationship with Christ if it would mean transformation and salvation for his own
people. Such reflects a passion and commitment that can inspire each generation of
Christians to engage their culture with the gospel of Jesus.
Recall a moment when you
admonished, wheedled, pleaded, or cajoled with someone to consider (re-consider) a
particular course of action.
What lengths have some groups gone to "convert" persons to their
cause-especially if the candidate for conversion shares common ground with the group?
Why might baring ones soul about something/someone we truly value become
Summarize the basic notion in chapters
1-8 of how God has closed the gap.
Raise the issue of one gap that resists bridging: the problem of chapter 9.
Pauls struggle is our honest struggle within a pluralistic world.
Suggest how God is working to bring about the redemption of all creation.