What are we to say? Who am I to say?

Lectio: Romans 8:26-39

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. 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. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

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. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then are we to say about these things?

If God is for us, who is against us? 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?

Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 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.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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.

Meditatio

…What are we to say?

…Who am I to say?

In reading and re-reading, and keeping company with this text, I am left silent and humbled.

This week, when I did not know what to pray, I have felt the Spirit groan prayers in me “too deep for words.”

This week, I have seen “all things work together for good;” yes, even being rear-ended.

This week, I have put unseen hope in the unspeakable, unshakeable love of God in Christ, and have felt the soft assurance that “nothing else in all creation will be able to separate” me from that love.

And in all of this, the great mysteries of God’s everlasting love, and will, and call, and salvation, and glory, were working themselves out all around me, whether I had eyes to see them or not.

Oratio

I am left like the Psalmist:

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

from this time on and forevermore.

Contemplatio

I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

I will rest in God’s Fatherly providence, the Son’s brotherly love, and the Spirit’s interceding company.

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