Monday, December 22, 2008
The word is near you
Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that "the person who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that comes from faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say?
"The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart"
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Comments: I love this passage. There is much about Paul I don’t care for, but in this passage, he’s got it! The Word—the Christ that comes is not a matter of something we have to hunt for. We can find him in the depths of our hearts. Love is what turns us from being self-centered to other-centered and it is through the love that God has shown us in Jesus Christ we are empowered to love others. For me it is not a matter of salvation that is important—it is, how can I manifest the love that God loves me with to others? The word speaks in our hearts and acts in our lives.
This kind of nearness is not something that we wait for—like Christ coming in Advent. It is more like the nearness of “something on the tip of my tongue” or just outside the periphery of sight. This word is ready to be spoken whenever we are willing to let the truth of ourselves show