We, the ELCA, are facing cultural/social passions/compassion — or the lack thereof — inclusion/exclusion, fiscal cuts/global needs as we enter a new year. I could be really discouraged about our present and future health if in the face of it all Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson had not reminded us of the source and breath of our mission (January, "More than just daily bread"). After reading his column I felt the fresh air and renewed purpose that are so clearly needed to work toward the fulfillment of God's will for all God's people here, in our own time. For those still wondering what our work as children of God might be, we'll find it set forth in both testaments of Scripture.
Marie H. LambeckTranslating helped
Thanks for "Lost in translation
" (January). The introduction to the Ten Commandments has been difficult for me, as has the repeated "We should fear and love God so that we ..." passages from Martin Luther's Small Catechism. Confirmed in the mid-1950s, I heard a lot about the angry Old Testament God and not a lot about love. My knowledge has grown and changed since then, but this is the first time I have read an explanation of our jealous God.
Margaret A.S. HayesNot lost in translation
I disagree with the author of "Lost in translation
," in which she denies God's jealousy. She appears to have jealousy confused with envy. Whereas envy covets that which belongs to another, jealousy seeks to protect its own, as from a usurper or other threat. God jealously protected his people Israel, insisting that they forsake all false gods and follow him alone. Was God "intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness"? Yes—but I don't see that as negative.
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