Scripture: Romans 12:1-8
Key verses: (1-2) I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Reflection: You are loved by God exactly as you are! And God loves you so much that God doesn’t want you to stay the way you are!
It’s a key tension in the gospel. In Jesus Christ we experience the grace and love of God that accepts us, forgives us, welcomes us and claims us. And in Jesus Christ we experience the call from God to a lifelong journey of transforming faithfulness. In today’s passage, Paul calls disciples to give themselves totally to God in a way that opens themselves up to the transforming power of God. Another key tension in the gospel is that we can’t transform ourselves. Only God has that power. But we can let go and offer ourselves. Ask anyone in a twelve-step program about the paradox of letting go of control and allowing God to transform.
God is in the business of transformation, not maintenance. God delivers those who are captive, God brings new life to those who are stuck, God gives second chances to those who have made mistakes. The life of a disciple is a journey of constant renewal. The journey isn’t a straight line. Every life has ups and downs, struggles and joys. But God is with us and offers renewal.
If we are faithful to Christ, we aren’t the same people we used to be. Perhaps you are trying a new ministry and learning new skills. Perhaps you have faced a hardship and have learned to trust in God for help. Perhaps you have been through a dark time and have grown in patience and compassion for others. If we are faithful to Christ, our community isn’t the same as it used to be. God will be at work through us to bring good news to our neighbors. God will renew our worship and our study. God will call us to deepen our relationships in ministry. Thank God that God is in the business of transformation! God’s mercies are new every morning!
Prayer: O God, I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice. By the power of your Holy Spirit, transform me to be more like Jesus Christ. Transform my community to be more like 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].