Tuesday 27 April 2021

Bible Book:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; (v. 26)

Romans 8:26-39 Tuesday 27 April 2021

 Psalm 119:97-112


In a week with a theme 'Alive in the Spirit'  it is interesting that we have two readings (today's and Saturday's) that are frequently chosen for funeral services. In today's reading, there  is the reminder that 'being alive in the Spirit' is different from being alive in the ordinary sense (remember Nicodemus in John 3, needing to learn that being born of the Spirit is different to being born of the flesh). We trust that in the same way physical death is not the same as the death of the Spirit.

Jesus is often described as using the Cross to build a bridge of forgiveness between us and God. In verses 26-27 we see the Spirit building a bridge of understanding between us and God. The Spirit is able to translate for God. (Yesterday we saw the Spirit providing words in a different direction.)

We don’t have space here to consider predestination. It is a huge topic and I’m no expert. However, we  see here  an unbroken chain starting with those who love God and being fully linked and held all the way through to those he also glorified.  It is a clear statement that God takes us all the way when we start the journey. So the “all things work together for good” (verse 28) might be thought of as a journey which starts when we love God. We could say that this too is part of the work of the Spirit in our lives, pulling us along that journey we have chosen  (and Methodism would say that we can make that choice because God has made it possible through 'prevenient' grace – God reaching out to us before we know it so we can choose to respond).

Verses 31-35 and 37-38 are powerfully progressive when read aloud. They are connected (often slightly awkwardly when being read aloud) by verse 38 (from Psalm 44) which reminds us that God’s people do not always feel this way and that our feelings of abandonment, despair, grief and so on do not stop God loving us (and continuing to work for good).


To Ponder:

  • After the pandemic experiences of this past year I wonder whether we see the lists of what can’t separate us from the love of God differently? What might change as a result?
  • How do you feel about the role of the Holy Spirit in translating; in providing words to create a bridge between ourselves and God; and between ourselves and those who challenge us? 
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