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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

"Belong to One Another... New Life of the Spirit."

May we gather around the Word, find hope and take that hope into the world, making it a little more kind, a little more just and a little more loving.

Romans 7:1-6
7Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? 2Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. 3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.
4 In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

1) "Do you not know;" "...those who know the law;" "...bear fruit for God;" "...dead to that which held us captive;" "...we are slaves... in the new life of the Spirit;"

2) Paul is not asserting Jewish Law here around marriage.  He is simply using a well known aspect of the law to illustrate the relationship of Jewish Christians to the Law and to Christ... but it isn't the Law that dies, but those who were married to the Law who have died and been raised in Christ to a new set of relationships.  The point of everything is to bear fruit for God.  For us, have we died to our old way of being, the way of fear, distrust, despair, frustration, apathy, self-interest, and allowed ourselves to be under the new life of the Spirit?  Or do we continue to toil under the old way of our being?  I certainly continue to feel bound by old ways of being.  I witness others who are still deeply committed to fear, anxiety, and most distressingly, to scarcity.  There is never enough.  There never was enough.  There is never going to be enough.  We are married to that law and never want to confess anything else.  But Christ's promise, God's promise is not scarcity, it is abundance.  Certainly abundance if we are doing what God has actually called us to do.  We only need to be worried about scarcity if we aren't following.

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To stop worrying about whether or not there is "enough" of whatever: people, money, time, skill, ability... and focus on doing what God wants us to do: gather around the word, find hope, share that hope with the world.

"Holy One, lead us into the new life of the Spirit, help us let go of our marriage to the way of scarcity, self-importance, and spiritual ignorance."

Breathprayer: "Belong to one another... new life of the Spirit"

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