Scripture: Romans 8:12-27
Key verses: (22-23) We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Reflection: We live in the “in between” time. We might think of our faith as “already – not yet.”
Christ already died on the cross and already was raised. Easter morning already happened. We have already been saved. We have already received the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have already been called to live as disciples of Jesus in the world. We have already been equipped for faithfulness.
Christ has not yet returned to reign in glory. The kingdom has not yet fully come. We have not yet given up the ways of sin and death. We do not yet live in the peace and justice of God’s kingdom. We are not yet the people God longs for us to be.
Paul wrote this section of Romans to address the difficulties of the “in between” and the “already – not yet” time. This is one of the central tensions in our faith and points us toward hope. We recognize the good news that has already come in Jesus Christ. We proclaim that good news despite the reality that the world is groaning. Nations are at war; people are oppressed and abused; creation itself is mistreated due to our greed. We long for the fulfillment of all of God’s promises, when the good news of Jesus will be fully realized in the world. We live and we wait in hope, trusting that God will bring new life to all of creation.
Prayer: On this spring day, O Lord, I see signs of new life in creation. May those beautiful signs give me hope in the coming of your kingdom. By your Holy Spirit encourage me when I am discouraged. Give me patience as I wait for your redemption and give me persistence as I work for your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[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].