Friday, March 20, 2009
Day 23-March 20
All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.
Here we are, with another heavy text, appropriate for Lent. I don't know about you, but it seems awfully daunting to be label folks as being, by nature, "children of wrath". One of my study bibles defines this phrase as meaning "powerless creatures subject to God's judgement." But look at the prior words within the text: "All of us...once lived..." So, once again, Paul is speaking to what it means to make an intentional move toward God, to turn to a grace-filled God. Here's the heart of the text: by grace you have been saved. So we're saved by faith--not good works-- and faith and grace are gifts from God, and not opportunities we construct on our own.
So, in fact, this is not only a Lenten text, but an Easter text, because what was once dead is now alive. So today, on the first day of Spring, how does your faith reflect liveliness and new life?
It is easier to gaze into the sun, than into the face of your mystery, O God, for such is your beauty and radiance. You say, "I am the supreme fire; not deadly, but rather, enkindling every spark of life." Kindle that spark in us today, O God, for your sake. Amen.
Prayer adapted from Gabriele Uhlein's work in Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen (Santa Fe, NM:Bear and Co, 1983, p. 25.)
Sname image from here.