Luther Seminary God Pause
Wednesday, 7/16/2014 Reading: Romans 8:12-25
I have a friend who struggles to find regular work and income, and at the same time knows that someday he will inherit a significant sum of money from his parents. Each day is a struggle, but he trusts that someday these struggles will be behind him.
Paul characterizes our walk with God in a similar way. We live in debt to God, and sin threatens to put us further in debt. Hazards and hardships abound, yet in Christ God extends the promise of redemption to us. In that promise we are no longer debtors but heirs ... someday. So we wait with eager longing and expectation for the full outbreak of God's kingdom in our lives. We wait with longing, along with the rest of creation.
Bob Dylan's song "I Shall Be Released" resonates with this passage from Romans. Any day now there will be redemption:
I see my light come shining From the west unto the east Any day now, any day now I shall be released.>
Lord God of the living, we eagerly await your redemption. Until then, give us patience in our suffering, knowing that in you we have hope both for today and tomorrow. Amen.
Jason W. Talsness Pastor, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, Ga. Master of Divinity, 1997
Romans 8:12-25 (NRSV)
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ--if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
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