I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Reflection by Janet Derby This text is included in a week that also tells the story of Jesus encountering the Canaanite woman whom he initially rejects. Paul is speaking to the idea that the children of Israel have been replaced in God’s favor. It is easy to think that our political climate of tribalism and rejection of anything the “other side” stands for is wrong and is unique to the present time. Scripture reminds us that it is not. Paul reminds us emphatically that God is the God of all and that none of us will be excluded from the kin-dom. When it seems that we build barriers that prevent us from understanding and respecting each other, it would be beneficial to remember that none of us wants to feel rejected and we should all try to emulate God’s acceptance of all. Prayer:
God of Mercy and Grace, Show us the way of acceptance and openness to all of humankind. Help us to break down the walls that divide us. Amen.