2 Timothy 2:8-15
8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. 14Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.
Started with a shorter version of my intro to the pastoral epistles and the Timothy letters from last week, Pentecost 20. Serious emphasis on the emerging church structure and organization we find in the pastoral letters; reminder that pseudonymity, anonymity, what we'd call "false attribution" was no big deal back then; in fact it could be a compliment to one's colleague, classmate, or teacher; it simply could indicate the author's attempt to continue writing in the style of the person cited as author.
2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the Dead—re-member, re-assemble the scattered pieces into a coherent whole We do this every time we celebrate Holy Communion, our "common union" in Christ. 2:9b "But the word of God is not chained." Not in handcuffs and shackles, not in fetters or imprisoned. The written word and the incarnate word are not captive to any particular place or time; they are wired for every time and every place. Part of what we do is conceptualize them for where we live and maybe esp for where our neighbors, where the newcomers to church are. The Word is free range!
There's a long series of Christian captivity letters, missive written from incarceration: Philippians; Ephesians; Martin Luther from Wartburg Castle; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Martin Luther King, Jr; Nelson Mandela.
2:11-13 probably is a hymn already known to the recipients of the letter, very similar to the hymn inserted into Philippians that tells us Christ Jesus did not count equality with God something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant....
"Wrangling over words!" The written word can be a bit ambiguous? So God gave us the incarnate word, and continues giving the world an incarnate, enfleshed, living word through us, those baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection.
More discussion about ways we can be welcoming, be sensitive to the culture and spoken language of others, yet faithful to the gospel. Contextualizing; enculturating; translating into the vernacular.