Reading: Romans 3: 19-28 (Click to read text)
Reflection: Life (in some respects) is just not fair. So many things influence a person’s life. Place of birth, nationality, skin color, socio-economics, education, intelligence, DNA … you can add some I missed. But all of those things have the potential of determining whether you are an athlete, professor, laborer, parent, wealthy, poor, law-abiding citizen, prisoner, president, pauper … All that means that we can look around the world and describe it as an uneven playing field. Some folks just have a tougher time than others. Some folks live on easy street.
But listen to St. Paul, “there is no distinction.” Hmmmmmm. That would level things out. But how does that work? “All have sinned sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Well, I guess that puts everybody in his or her place. (drum roll please) “They are now justified by his grace as a gift.” That really levels the playing field doesn’t it? They are all justified by a gift.
Today we can go about our business observing both the uneven playing field and the level playing field. We can observe that, for whatever reason, people have different lives. We can also remember that they are all are gifted by God’s grace. And that gift may not be fair, either. But then, God isn’t about being fair. So, we live our lives today as one who is justified. And live and work among all sorts of folks all of whom are also justified—just like us.
In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north,
All children of the living God are surely kin to me.
(ELW 650, vss. 1 & 3)
--Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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