During these difficult times we will be writing some short reflections. These will be published here and made available through the Facebook and Twitter pages.
Reflections this week by Lindsay MacQueen
CHANGE OF PLAN
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1-6
Theologian John Stott refers to Romans as a “Christian Manifesto.”
Paul’s letter to the Romans was influential in the conversions of such prominent believers like Augustine of Hippo, the German Reformer Martin Luther, and founder of Methodism, John Wesley.
We are fortunate to have Paul’s letter to these Christians in Rome.
His intention was actually to visit Rome and speak to the Christians there, broadcasting the message he had taken on as his life’s task.
However, his plans to go to Rome kept being thwarted and so he wrote this letter instead.
We would never have heard his speeches in Rome but here we have in one letter a distillation of over 20 years of his experience of the nature and meaning of the Christian faith.
How often have we had our plans changed and had to divert to a different course.
How many of us thought as we celebrated at just after midnight on 1st January 2020 with all our plans for holidays and anniversary celebrations and even just meeting together how these plans would be so altered.
We can sit back and moan about self isolation because of the pandemic that has hit the whole world or we can be like Paul and find another way to carry out our task as missionaries to the world.
And, through the wonders of this technological age, we have indeed found different ways to worship our Lord and spread his Good News.
Lord, you know how bemused and bewildered we are in our present situation.
You know how upsetting it is to us to have our plans all changed and to feel that we are no longer in control of our destiny .
Lord, we throw ourselves on your mercy as we remember that we have asked you to be our strength and guide at all times, good and bad. Amen