Saturday, March 9, 2013
Morning Psalms: 87, 90 | Evening Psalm: 136
Jeremiah 13:1-11 | Romans 6:12-23 | John 8:47-59
How do you present?
Chocolate is not the problem. The problem is that every day my passions—my deep, insatiable cravings for love, affirmation, soul satisfaction—summon me to their service.
No, chocolate is not the problem, nor any other outward temptation that I can simply give up for Lent. The problem is my passions and their desire to rule.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” (Rom 6:12).
The Apostle Paul, after explaining to the Roman Christians the wonderful freedom of grace, now asks: What is freedom? Is it about making the right choices, following the commandments, or doing whatever we darned well please because we are saved by grace?
None of the above. It’s about the presentation.
“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God...” (Rom 6:13). Like a slave, each morning I must rise, fall down before the master, and place myself in His service.
The question is: who is the master? The one who shackles us with the law and its works that lead to death (Rom 6:23), or the one whom we obey freely, “from the heart” (Rom 6:17), who freely offers us life?
In a world where freedom mistakenly means “unlimited choices,” Paul writes that grace gives us a new kind of freedom: the freedom to be a slave. The freedom to present ourselves to the God whose divine passion chased us down to the depths of the grave and who is enough to satisfy our deepest passions in this life and the next.
Lord, I present myself to you this day, every hour, every moment, forever.
The Rev. Claudia Nalven (MDiv 2006, DMin Student)
Assistant Rector, St. Mark’s Church
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