Rev. John J. Bombaro, Ph.D. (King’s College, University of London) is a missionary of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, serving as the Assistant Director of Theological Education at the Luther Academy, Rīga, Latvia.
Paul attempts to break down the walls which the early Christians effortlessly erected between those of different ethnic origins — specifically Jews and Gentiles — to drive them to the will and mind of Christ: Worship together as one body.
When it comes to the sermon, a Christian congregation should not expect a conversation from a friend or a TED Talk from an expert. Instead, they should anticipate a royal proclamation from the King’s ambassador.
Our passage from Romans steers us between these two dangerous misconceptions: The mythical monster Scylla of believing the body to be evil on the one shore, and the beast Charybdis of believing the body constitutes all there is on the other.
In the Church, the cry is, “He loves,” and it is that message which transforms our worldviews from taking to giving, from radical individualism to trans-demographic inclusivism, from selfishness to selflessness, from “tolerate my rights” to “loving rightly together.”
Peter’s monumental sermon on Pentecost declares the kingdom purposes and divine saving work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which culminate in the new world order with Christ in charge, governing in the power of the Spirit.
If God was going to save the world, and reclaim His global kingdom, then the exiling, the confusion, the ignorance and scattering had to be ended. Pentecost signals this dramatic reversal in a spectacular way.