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Monday, 25 September 2017

"Christ Jesus... Intercedes for Us."

I ask for the grace to grow, the grace to meet the challenges that are meeting us daily, the grace to adapt by letting go and trusting that God is with us, providing what we need along the way.  May we seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly.

Romans 8:31-36
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
   we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’

1) "God is for us;" "He who did not withhold his own Son;" "...God who justifies;" "...It is Christ Jesus... who intercedes for us;" "Who will separate us from the love of Christ;" "...hardship...distress... persecution...famine...nakedness...or peril...or sword;" 

2) Once again Paul waxes eloquent.  He's revving up for the big conclusion.  "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"  God has already given so much, is there anything God will withhold in order to keep us close, in order to set us in right relationship?  God withholds nothing.  Why is it so hard to hold on to this on a daily basis?  Why do we think that we are only saved by our own labour or our own will?  I don't particularly like the God is for us language, it suggests that God is against others.  It makes me think of the lyrics to a song the Pentecostals wanted us to sing in a cantata in a small town I once served.  I couldn't participate, singing the words, "God is on our side!"  God doesn't "choose sides."  "Sides" is such a "human thing," not a "divine thing."  But God does not forsake.

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To trust that God provides, that God sets us to right relationship, that Christ intercedes for that to happen and nothing can prevent God or Christ from reconciling us: to ourselves, to each other, to creation, to God/Christ.

"Holy One, make us whole again, whole with you."

Breathprayer: "Christ Jesus... intercedes for us."

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