Romans 5:1–11 (NRSV)
Chapter 5Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Verse 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. Verse 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, Verse 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, Verse 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Verse 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Verse 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. Verse 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Verse 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. Verse 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Verse 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
I seek peace with God … but my neighbor? Hmmm.
Yes, Christ died for me. But everybody else? God’s gift of restoring humanity to bear divine glory is so out of sync with what we deserve. We are the weak, ungodly enemies. Those doubting God’s promises; those yielding to temptation and walking away from God; those in need of reconciliation. Wait, who are we? In this letter, we are the descendants of Abraham and Sarah. Language usually used to speak of the other—Gentiles—is here being used instead to speak of the people of God—Jews.
This is God’s grace. The wanderers, burdened and thirsty, are found, relieved, and filled. This proves God’s love for us. What God is doing in us, God is doing also in others. When we understand this, we have our own story to tell about God’s love showing up in Jesus.
Reconciling God, help me to live out the truth that we who are reconciled in Christ to you are also reconciled to one another. Amen.