Paul does some of his best work in chapter eight of Romans. To label the prose profound & inspirational is understatement. But I was in a grumpy frame of mind when it appeared in the Lectionary last week. I hurled my doubts and protests at the Scripture in prayer, and PRAISE GOD that Paul and the Spirit prevailed.
For faith that lifts me up,
holds me up,
holds me together.
Because I'm straining to embrace St. Paul's paradox about our kinship...and your kingship:
...we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)
I grasp at glory, suppress the suffering. I really work at gratitude. I reach for the cup that's half full to overflowing.
a laid-off neighbor has been jobless for months,
a good friend started chemo last week,
an acquaintance suffered a fatal heart attack,
a colleague's Mom just died too young from cancer.
Must we share in this!?!
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Really? Give me Paul's confidence! That suffering is a feature of life's landscape, but not the promontory.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Thank you for the the rhythm of the church calendar to remind me of birth, resurrection and ascension. Epiphanies and Saints. The power of the Trinity. There's Pentecost. Give me a full dose of your Spirit!
...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
Heirs to suffering, yes, but ultimately my true inheritance is your love and power! Amen.
Read St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8, in its entirety