16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’*
The Guilt of Humankind18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.
1) "the power of God;" "...to everyone;" "...to the Jew first and also to the Greek;" "...The one who is righteous will live by faith;" "...by their wickedness suppress the truth;"
2) The truth is that the Bible was not written by white European people. It wasn't written about white European people. It wasn't written for white European people. When most of the Bible was written, white European people weren't even on the map of civilized people. When most of the Bible was written, most white European people were considered illiterate savages to the north. My heart is so heavy with what is happening in Virginia right now. But I know that I don't need to travel to Virginia to find white supremist thinking. People are faithless, we have no trust. I feel shame for a species that cannot learn to live in peace. When we have trust, it is God in us giving us what we need. Give us what we need O God, to stay present to this reality, to look at ourselves and see how we participate and benefit from privilege we did not earn.
3) What is the invitation in all this? To affirm the power of diversity in the community "the Jew" and "the Greek" (as Paul is writing to the Romans). To affirm the little things we are doing to create refuge for diverse people: class, race, culture, age, sex, orientation, gender...
"Holy One, teach us the gospel that we might not be ashamed."
Breathprayer: "I am not ashamed... live by faith."