My friend, Michael Daily, preached a message on Romans Chapter 12 worthy of consideration. A while back, while listening to Michael, I got to thinking about what I call “pastoral preaching”. Pastoral preaching is the shepherd speaking to his people, guiding them, loving them, correcting them, leading them to Christ and into His Kingdom. I don’t know any better example of pastoral preaching than Michael.
Michael points out that the term “sacrifice” carries with it the idea of being “smoked”. As one who cooks on a smoker that speaks to me – smoke permeates meat or fish; you can tell when something has been smoked. I wonder if folks can tell that we are living “smoked” sacrifices to Christ? Does Christ permeate our lives?
Michael brings out a great point in applying the “Bless those who persecute you” to life within the Body of Christ. Because of its proximity to the governmental passage beginning in Romans Chapter 13 I have tended to relate that command to those outside the Body of Christ, but Michael’s point is well taken and I now see 12:14 – 21 as a hinge that is connected to both those in the Church and those outside the Church. The fact is that most of our conflict is within the Church.
Note Michael’s explanation of “peace/shalom”. Do we really want that for others?
I heartily agree with his approach to 12:20 and I’ll no doubt quote him.
The image Michael uses of the Body of Christ as a people of kindness and blessing is one of those images we tend to explain away and qualify – and yet it is the image that Christ gives us of who we should be; John 13:34 – 35 and John 17:13 – 26.
And the conclusion to the message? Well – it’s worth listening to!!!