tirsdag 3. januar 2017

The least of all the saints

Today’s reading in the Norwegian Bible-reading plan takes me back to Paul the mentor and how his self-image:
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ
Eph 3:8-9
Paul’s testimony is interesting. It reveals humility, but alsogratitude because he can include himself among the saints. However, it complicates his teaching about being holy “in Christ”. Because if we all depend entirely on the holiness of Jesus, this fact seems to be impossible to combine with an idea of a hierarchy of holiness. 

Nevertheless, it is not difficult to identify with Paul’s description. Anyone who wants to live a holy life will feel that it is “far to the goal”, and therefore it is easy to see oneself as less than the least. But, the miracle of grace is that it is sufficient to be I included in the community of the saint. It was enough for Paul, and it was a precondition to be able to preach among the Gentiles. For if he himself had not grasped a glimpse of the mystery, he would not have been able to lead others into it. This applies to preaching in general and mentoring specially - and tomorrow Timothy will be back in the reflections.

Today 'manna':

It does not matter to be less than the least as long as I am holy
* The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe, but still a bird like the proud eagle, but the least of them all, and very beautiful...

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