“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” vss. 1-2
Paul has just told his readers that there is absolutely nothing in all of creation, not even death, that can separate us from the love of God. It is without a doubt one of the most reassuring and grace-filled passages in all of scripture–most of us count it as one of our favorites. But then he follows that up by telling his Roman readers that he has great orrow and unceasing anguish in his heart. As we read further we discover the cause of his sadness. Paul is broken-hearted because his people, the Jews, have rejected the gospel of grace that has been proclaimed through Jesus the Christ. The good news was for them too, but they had chosen to go another way! Some of us know how Paul felt. We have family and friends who have a place under the umbrella of unconditional love that God has for all people. Many of them have heard the story of grace–they’ve learned it in Sunday School and confirmation–but it hasn’t touched their lives! It isn’t that we’re afraid they will go to hell–we know that they too will never be separated from the love of God. But their decision or lack of decision saddens us! We have the sense that life now could be so much better for them if they put aside the works of darkness and allowed their inner lights to shine. Some days it makes us want to cry!
Thought for the Day: Someone whose life choices saddens my heart!