This Sunday we will celebrate both Sacraments: Baptism and Communion.
The Scripture Reading this week is Romans 1:1-17
The Sermon title is Hi! My Name Is...
Early Thoughts: For the month of May we will be hearing passages from Paul's letter to the Church in Rome. AS Paul's letters go this one is a bit different. Most of the letters are examples of Paul writing to a community where he has previously visited, likely to the church(es) he planted while there. And so in many of them he appears to be answering questions from the community, furthering their growth in faith.
But Paul has not yet been to Rome. Instead of a letter to old friends this is a letter of introduction. Paul is preparing the ground for his visit to existing Christian communities. It is also argued that in Romans we have Paul's clearest explication of his own theology. Unlike, for example, the letter to Corinth, he is not trying to deal with questions and issues that have come back to him. He is letting people know what to expect from him in terms of teaching and preaching when he arrives.
This week we have the beginning of the letter. Paul introduces himself not just by name but by making clear who he represents. One commentary notes that those opening verses match the standard form of diplomatic correspondence in the first century.
And then Paul gives a bit of a "teaser" about what he is all about. Which of the themes he hints at here will we explore further over the next month?