Romans 8:26-39 (NRSV)
Verse 26Likewise 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. Verse 27And 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. Verse 28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Verse 29For 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. Verse 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Verse 31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Verse 32He 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? Verse 33Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Verse 34Who 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. Verse 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Verse 36As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." Verse 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Verse 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, Verse 39nor 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 coronavirus is reshaping our lives in ways we had never imagined. Fear of contracting the virus, death, unemployment, income loss, and food lines surround us with loss, grief, and an uncertain future. As restrictions lessen at the time of this writing, we continue to look and hope for light at the end of the tunnel.
Paul’s word to the community of faith in Rome speaks good news: “There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” He goes on to list the many ways in which a community can experience darkness in the “tunnel” of life in this world. Yet, Paul proclaims there is not just a hope-filled light at the end of the tunnel; there is also light here and now in the midst of the tunnel—the light of Jesus’ presence and love. We have the promise of Jesus’ light through word, water, bread, wine, and one another. Where will you find the light of Jesus’ promise shining for you today?
Spirit of Jesus, open our eyes to see and know the presence of your light in the tunnels of life until we come to the end of the tunnel to bask in your Eternal Brightness. Amen.