When I’m reading the Bible, I sometimes mark words or passages that grab my attention. I want to remember what I’ve read.
In this reading, I marked “weak,” “ungodly,” “sinners” and “enemies.” They are four of the things that we ponder during Lent. They remind us that we need to repent and things need to be turned around in our lives. They are why we make confession.
Then I noticed how often three other words are repeated: “we” (15 times), “our” (five) and “us” (four). St. Paul was not just talking to us. He was firmly identifying himself as one of us, every one of us. Can we do the same for each other, even those we do not like to think of as one of us?
That done, Paul’s powerful, reassuring, life-giving message of hope came to life. Look at all the other words packed around these few words that spill over the page, words like justified by faith, peace with God, access to grace, sharing the glory of God, and on and on with the good news of our salvation and its consequences for the way we live.
Gracious God, help me to see and hear and believe your life-giving words. Amen. — KW