For Sunday, July 10, 2011: Year A

THE READING    Genesis 25:19-34

The book of Genesis is the book of the beginnings of God’s people. In our reading from Genesis last week, Rebekah courageously left home to meet her destiny. This week, we learn that things haven’t gone according to plan. It’s taken twenty years for Rebekah to conceive Isaac’s heir—and then the pregnancy is awful, with twin boys who are contentious from before birth. Esau, the older one, grows into a fierce outdoorsman with no impulse control, while Jacob can charitably be described as a congenital conniver. That God should nevertheless have great good in store for Jacob suggests that there’s hope for the rest of us anyway.

THE EPISTLE    Romans 8:1-11

Paul’s letter to the church at Rome amounts to a short course in theology. Last week we heard Paul lament our existential quandary: we cannot possibly hope to save ourselves. In today’s reading, however, Paul tells us what our hope is: it is God’s grace that allows us to live according to God’s Spirit.

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