Sometimes Paul Just Makes Me Want to Put My Head Down on the Desk

(Lent 3A    Romans 5:1-11)

5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.


A few weeks ago I took a day to do some preparation for worship, writing all my bulletins for Lent. I use the Congregational Life resources from "Seasons of the Spirit," among other things, when I'm searching for worship material, and I was really surprised that Romans 5:6 made its way into a Call to Worship, in exactly the words you see above and without further explanation.

Now, I'm not surprised to think that there are people and churches who would use this Justification theology in worship, but it almost seems like the writers of this segment forgot for whom they were writing. I've never heard this kind of language in a UCC church, especially not in a responsive Call to Worship: "at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."

Trying to explain why it worries, bothers or repels me feels about as useful as arguing with someone who can never be wrong about anything. What's the point? This is why we overlook those passages of scripture that are beyond certain limits of the psycho-spiritual palate.

Yes, he died. Yes, we are weak. Yes, we leave something to be desired, and that something is God, so does that make us ungodly? Or are we simply incomplete?

I did write earlier in the week, but for some reason Typepad was keeping these posts to itself.