Scripture: Romans 8:31-39
Key verse: (39) “Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Reflection: “What then shall we say to these things?” Paul asks this rhetorical question to the Christians suffering in Rome, “these things” being their present hardships. There are many things he could say to them regarding their suffering. He could say, “These things happen for a reason.” He could say, “This is all part of God’s plan.” He could say with Job’s friends, “You must have done something to deserve this.” Paul doesn’t say any of these things. What does he say?
“Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s gospel! There is absolutely nothing that can separate us from God’s love — not suffering, not a terrible diagnosis, not our mistakes, not our lack of faith, not anything in all creation! In a world where so much love is conditional, God’s love is unconditional. Nothing can separate us from that love.
Yet so much separates us from loving one another in this world. Imagine a world where we love one another as God loves us. Is that even possible? This side of heaven, probably not. Left to our own devices, probably not. But by God’s grace, through the power of the Spirit, we can love one another this way.
When we experience this kind of love with one another, we get a taste of heaven!
Prayer: Thank you for your amazing love, O God. Thank you for claiming us as your very own in the security of your powerful, never-failing love. Thank you for refusing to let anything separate us from your love. May we refuse to let anything keep us from loving one another, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].