Wednesday

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” (v. 10)

Romans 13:8-10 Wednesday 2 May 2018

Psalm: Psalm 51


Background

The hymn Love inspired the anger (Singing the Faith 253) reminds us that the love that Christ expressed was not sentimental, but a tough love which confronted and challenged all that was wrong. Christ turned over the tables of the temple, he railed against the legalism of the authorities, he inspired righteous anger which expressed kingdom values and enabled God’s age to dawn.

With the psalmist, we rejoice that right is restored, the good which is broken down is built back up, the kingdom of God brought forth.

Paul is writing to Christians in Rome about the everyday challenges faced by the Christian believers who live under the iron rule of the emperor Nero. Do we conform to the ways of our society and culture or do we look for the other way, which is ‘in Christ’? Paul reminds us that the present age, the world as it presently is, is continuing and most people are ordering their lives according to its ways. Yet, he also tells us that the new age, God’s age, is breaking through and will shortly come to fulfilment. Paul teaches those who follow Christ that they must live lives which anticipate the coming new age. He reminds his reader of the Commandments that were given to Moses, reminds them of Christ’s commandment that we should love one another, and directs them to lives appropriate lives. The lives to which we are called are lives inspired and connected to the love expressed by Christ.

Paul reminds us that we are citizens of heaven, people of the new way, living out our calling in between the present age and the age to come. We are called to live lives which reflect the ways of Christ and demonstrate his tough love. As we move through our reflections this week, we are reminded of our starting place. The kingdom values that we are called to demonstrate are those values which flow forth from our being ‘in Christ’, as branches to the vine. In Christ, we are called to be agents of justice and truth.


To Ponder

  • Do you sense the frustration of being present in the present age, where all is not well, knowing that there is a better way? How does that frustration motivate you to challenge the status quo and to speak out for justice?
  • At the 2016 Methodist Conference, the previous President and Vice-President of the Conference challenged Methodism and Methodists to hold holiness and justice together. What can you do in your local context to continue this work?

 

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