Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Romans 10:1-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 10 Brothers and sisters,[a] my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Salvation Is for All
5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ
down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?
“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because[b] 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. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Today’s scripture reading comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. Romans is unusual in that Paul did not found the church at Rome and had never even visited there. He writes to them to introduce himself and to make a connection to the Christians there. He writes also to summarize his understanding of faith and our relationship with God.
What stands at the heart of Paul’s letter is God’s saving grace for everyone in Jesus. Here he echoes what he says in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
The Letter to the Romans lifting up the inclusive grace and love of God through the faithfulness of Jesus had had a profound impact in the history of our faith. It was Romans that led to the transformation of Martin Luther’s life and the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago.
It was Martin Luther’s Preface to the Book of Romans that John Wesley heard read on May 24, 1738 at a religious society meeting on Aldersgate Street in London that caused Wesley to feel his “heart strangely warmed” and gave him a sense of deep assurance of God’s love and grace for him, not just as a general concept for everyone.
The good news of God’s grace is for you, too.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster