From the Well - 7/27/2017

Romans 8:26-39 (NRSV) 
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Franciscan, Richard Rohr says,

God is to be found in all things, even and most especially in the painful, tragic, and sinful things-exactly where we do not want to look for God. The crucifixion of the God-Man is at the same moment the worst and the best thing in human history. It validates the central notion of paradox at the heart of Christianity.

Paul says, “If God is for us, who is against us?” It’s hard sometimes to see God in the ups and downs of life but God is there. It’s true, sometimes our faith falters as it contemplates the challenges of life. As Leonard Sweet says, sometimes we are,

Doubting in the face of death . . .

Weak-kneed in the face of illness . . .

Wimpy in the face of danger . . .

Worthless in the face of adversity . . .

Frozen in the face of Confrontation . . .

Apathetic in the face of challenges . . .

Despairing in the face of the Serpent . . .

Acquiescent in the face of greed . . .

Oblivious in the face of pollution . . .

Heartless in the face of hunger . . .

Self-absorbed in the face of homelessness . . .

Whining in the face of hardship . . .

Knowing that God is with us and for us in all circumstances causes us to proclaim,

In the face of death . . . there is resurrection

In the face of illness . . . there is eternal healing

In the face of danger . . . there is the right arm of God

In the face of adversity . . . there is “blessed assurance”

In the face of confrontation . . . there is confidence

In the face of the serpent . . . there is the gift of the cross

In the face of greed . . . there is the abundant life

In the face of pollution . . . there is God’s redemption of all      creation

In the face of hunger . . . there is a legacy of loaves and          fishes

In the face of homelessness . . . there is compassion

In the face of hardship . . . there is the promise of goodness

Think about it.

Matthew