Galatians 1: 6 – 7
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
When talking to the family preparing for one of the first funerals I took as a Minister, we spoke about the gentleman’s working life. He had been a civil engineer and been involved in several big projects all over the country. I asked if he had been a hard task master, ‘Not at all’ said his son ‘he was always prepared to accept there were two ways to do a job’. This surprised me, as a man who had worked for him described him as a Holy Terror to work for. I was going to mention this, but before I could the son added ‘Yes he always admitted there were two ways to do a job. His way and the wrong way!’.
Sometimes when you read Paul’s letters to the infant Churches you can think the same about his approach. He does not suffer fools gladly and is never afraid to point out what some are doing wrong. That though, would do Paul a disservice, he does not ever insist on his own way of doing things, but time and again he says that it is God’s ways he is trying to follow and instil in others.
In Galatia, after Paul, Luke, Timothy and the others had visited and set up the Church, others had arrived and for whatever reason had tried to alter the message Paul had delivered. Paul is furious, not as some think with the Galatians, but with these false teachers who try to alter the Gospel or even tell of another. Paul hammers home the point there is no other gospel, and the Galatians for their own wellbeing must ignore them and concentrate on the one and only one true Gospel.
In these turbulent pandemic times troubling stories come to light of so called spiritual advisors and pastors in America pronouncing all kinds of misinformation about God’s plan in all of this. All are wrong, many are blasphemous. Coronavirus is not a judgement sent by God to attack Gay people or liberals or those of non-white ethnicity or the poor.
The God of love does not work that way, so where is God in all this? Not with the rich and powerful, but in the hospitals and care homes where people are suffering and dying. God is in the overcrowded slums where the virus runs unchecked, God is in the midst of medical search for vaccines.
It is never God’s will that any suffer, as Paul says that is the true Gospel message.
Lord God, our loving Father in Heaven, we praise you for the Gospel of your love, for the reassurance that brings to us and the knowledge that should the worst happen to us you will be there to help us bear the burden.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,