Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Romans 15 & 16: Dinner Time

Paul summarizes his letter this way:
I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:15-16)
In short, Paul wants the Gentiles to be part of the family of God. Jesus has “confirmed the promises given to the patriarchs” and those promises are extended to the Gentiles who believe. Paul wants the family to get bigger and better. The Good News isn’t just for a few, but for all. We are all outsiders, but because of Jesus Christ we belong to God and sit with him.

It is so easy to stake over this profound truth, so take a moment and breathe in that reality. You belong to God. Once you were an outsider, abandoned and forgotten, but God has called you to the table. Its dinner time, the meal is ready. You thought the party was for someone else, but listen and you’ll hear your name. Look at that the last chapter of Romans. Paul ends with a list of greetings. Some are Jews, but many are Gentiles. Ten are women, twelve are men. The Kingdom of God expands. It cannot be contained by our limitations and categories. Jesus has come for the unrighteous, the Jew and the Gentile. All who believe are saved. Amen

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