Reflections on This Week’s Lectionary: Titus 2:11-14
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Reflections on This Week’s Lectionary: Titus 2:11-14 

This passage reads:
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
One thing I find remarkable about this passage is its focus on “this world,” where the goal of people should be “zealous for good deeds.” This perspective is consistent with Jesus’ prayer for God’s realm “on earth as in heaven,” and it militates against the focus among many contemporary Christians on the afterlife.
The process by which Jesus redeemed us from all iniquity is a subject of considerable discussion and debate among Christian scholars, theologians, and lay believers. What I think is important is that nearly all Christians would agree that we are redeemed, which facilitates the path toward righteousness and “good deeds.” Once relieved of the burdens of our sinfulness, we can focus on assisting others. Otherwise, we tend to focus on gaining our own redemption, which generates at least two problems. First, this focus distracts us recognizing the suffering and needs of other individuals and impairs our calling to serve God through good deeds. Second, it encourages us to blame others for our shortcomings – an essential element of scapegoating. A manifestation of this scapegoating can be a tendency to blame other individuals for their difficulties, which discourages us from helping those in need. 

Go on to: Luke 2:22-40; Does God Want Sacrifices? part 1
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents 

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