Text: Romans 1:28-2:11
To rejoice in God’s work to save us
For glory, honor and peace with those we meet
IN THE WORDS of the verses named above, St. Paul sets out hard boundary in human existence. There is “no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy” to be found in a human being, apart from God. Having chosen to forget/ignore God, humans find themselves in a situation where they do “what ought not to be done.” Worse of all, we are mired in hypocrisy, for we condemn in others the same behaviors we indulge or excuse in ourselves.
Passages such as this one is a key reason for the stances the Lutheran Reformers took in their disputes with their opponents. Luther and his colleagues realized that the “chief article” of the Church’s doctrine was that the ungodly were made right by God for the sake of Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son, and that this righteousness came by trusting in God, not by works. God must work our salvation. God must work our freedom. Like Lazarus in the grave, we have no power to do what ought to be done, but we can hear and respond to the One who calls to us in love.
In this day and age it is all the more important to recognize that our righteousness does not come from holding the right opinions, marching among the right people, voting for the right candidates, or condemning those who are not us. We go to others in the confidence that God goes with us and even more wonderfully goes before us to be present in those we meet, that we may find glory, honor and peace with one another.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks