Romans 12:1-8 – The 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time â€“ for August 24, 2014
â€œDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindsâ€¦â€ (Romans 12:2)
I so enjoyed these words when Garrison Keillor shared them in one of his Lake Wobegon tales . . .
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of Godâ€”what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Of course Paul wrote this encouragement to the Christian community in Rome. Indeed, long before I heard Keillorâ€™s tale, Roman 12:2 faithful challenge inspired and intimidated me. Nonetheless, whenever I read Paulâ€™s cautionary insights about conforming, I also revisit a fictional time in Minnesotaâ€™s Lake Wobegon . . .
In the yarn Keillor spun, every youth in the Lake Wobegon Lutheran Churchâ€™s confirmation class had to select a Bible verse that would be memorized and eventually read to the congregation. My fractured memory recalls that one boy chose John 11:35 . . . Jesus wept. Clever lad, since he only had to memorize two words. Another youth took Genesis 1:1, one of the most popular verses in the Bible: In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth. Didnâ€™t everyone know the Bibleâ€™s opening line? A young woman named Lois was either less smart or more adventurous than her fellow students when she selected Romans 12:2. Continue reading →