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Do not be conformed but transformed

“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 God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. Exodus 1:8-2:10, Psalm 124, Romans 12:1-8, & Matthew 16:13-20) There is something in me that thrills to this statement of St Paul’s. I instinctively know that it is deeply true and yet difficult to grasp. Maybe like much spiritual truth it is easier to glimpse in our peripheral vision, out of the corner of our eye so to speak. So we shall try and catch some of the meaning looking through three different lenses.

Firstly let us consider that the question of this world, or another, is in part a question of seeing our choices as between two different world vision’s or systems and then giving our allegiance to one. Paul used the same titles for Jesus the resurrected Christ as the Romans did for the Emperor and Paul was clear that it was a choice between the things of God or the power of the Empire.