In lieu of part 3, here is reflection coming from lectio this morning….

“Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
How can this be? How is it that the cross of Jesus Christ crucifies Paul to the world and the world to Paul? And why should Paul glory in this? First, let’s think about what is included in the phrase, “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I submit that here Paul means primarily the cross of Jesus Christ as he himself shares in it – that is, his own suffering in union with the Lord. At the least, it seems to me, this is the connecting idea. Thinking of this, we can better understand how it is that this cross has crucified the world to Paul, and Paul to the world. The cross is that suffering which through the grace of Christ detaches one’s heart from the world, from ‘things,’ freeing it up to attach to God. If this is the effect of the cross, then it is clearly something to be gloried in.
Immediately before this passage Paul says “for even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.” For those people Paul here speaks of, that which is worth glorying in is not that which detaches us from the world and attaches us to God, but that which gives an external appearance of belonging to God. Perhaps, Paul seems to suggest, if they kept the law, the external appearance would be inconsequential; but they do not keep the law.
In the passage immediately after our original one, Paul bears this thought out, saying, “for neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” External appearances of Godliness are not decisive, but internal faith and hope, by which children of God are made, and a new world is made.
This creation of a new world is carried out by God in our current world through the cross of Christ and the grace that flows abundantly from it. In anticipation of his cross and the new creation it would accomplish, Jesus said “Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32). The world, and all of history, including the personal histories of each individual human being, is changed forever and given meaning by the cross and resurrection of the Son of God. Christ judges the world, casting out it’s ruler, the deceiver and evil one, and making all things new. Suffering and death, which were effects of evil, he has made the entryway into life: “Truly, truly, I say to you,” he says, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). The heart, through suffering, is made to detach itself from fixation on shallow, empty, and passing things – things that have worth only in relation to greater realities, at the top of which is loving communion with our Creator.
God is doing all this for all, and for you in particular. He loves you and each person as if they were the only one in the world. Do you recognize this hidden work of the Cross within you? Do you have the eyes to see? Each person, within their personal history, can accept his grace (free gift) and persevere in it to the end, or can delay and resist until the end. He asks each to believe in Him and become His child, a disciple of Jesus his divine Son. God cannot be outdone in generosity – it is well worth it.


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