Going Deeper 05.27.2021

The second reading for Holy Trinity Sunday... Romans 8:12-17
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

We have been told that there is bad debt and there is good debt.  Paul writes about the latter... about our being "debtors" to God.  What do we 'owe' to God?  Of course, everything!  Most of all, we are by God's goodness and grace children of God.  One might suggest that this goes without saying.  Yet, it seems we need constant reminding.  

This is seen throughout the narrative of the Scriptures, especially in the stories of God's relationship with Israel.  They were to remember forever what God had done for their ancestors, delivering them from abusive slavery in Egypt, establishing a very special covenant relationship with them, and leading and protecting them through the wilderness into the "promised land."  They were to see themselves as being indebted to God, with the result being gratitude and love-based obedience guided by the gift of the law.  But in spite of God consistently reminding them through His prophets, the people both forgot and rebelled.

We can certainly repeat that same error, taking God's gifts and grace for granted, forgetting what God had done for us in Christ, and living "according to the flesh" rather than "by the Spirit."  Forgetting does seem to be part of our wounded human nature.  And God will not force us to see ourselves as debtors who are called to live more and more fully as children of God.  God calls to us through His Spirit, through the word and sacraments, urging us to remember and to respond to His grace.  And when we do, we are led to discover the most meaningful way of living... the way of love.  Love for God and for others.

Always remember... you are a child of God.  

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"