Amazing, Isn’t it?

This Week’s Lectionary Passage:  Romans 8b-13
“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”  12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The Word is near you.  It is already there.  You know the answer.  Just listen.  It’s there; hidden deep within your being.  Just believe.  Just confess.  Or is it confess and then believe?  If you notice, the order gets reversed either in the writing or in the translation.  Either way…does it matter?  Do we confess and then believe or do we believe and then confess?  Do we believe what we confess or do we confess what we believe?  Oh, I’m so confused…

I know.  They are just words.  But really, does it matter?  I’m thinking there are a whole lot of rules to this belief thing.  Do we confess?  Do we believe?  Do we confess our beliefs or believe our confessions?  Oh, good grief!  I don’t care.  I’m pretty convinced God doesn’t care.  God just desires that we be with God, that we walk through that threshold where the invitation to “come and see this thing that has happened” is hanging, waiting for each of us.  And the truth is that the invitation is open to all.  As the passsage says, there is no distinction.

So, what came first–the chicken or the egg?  The confession or the belief?  I don’t know.  I don’t think it matters.  God so desires to be with each of us–so much so that God came to this earth as Emmanuel, God With Us.  Call it belief.  God so desires that we realize how much we need God–so much so that God came to show us the way.  Call it confession.  But Paul left it open:  “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Everyone?  No rules?  No prescribed order of how things happen?  Nope.  Just call.  That’s all it takes.  Call.  That’s all God wants.  And the door will open and you will be welcomed in.  (So what happened to all those rules?)

So as we journey to the Cross, let us stop, step back, let go of the rules and come and see this thing that has happened.  And then, even in the shadows, let us open our eyes and our heart to doing the same thing that God has done.  Invite your neighbor to come and see this thing that has happened.  (Rules?  Nope.  A Profile of who is accepted?  Nope.  An invitation to all?  Yep, that’s the way it works!  Amazing, isn’t it?)

Grace and Peace,

Shelli  

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