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.’
What was I thinking? I know there will be many of you who will relish a theological challenge on a Monday morning, but I think it was, to me, a simple statement that drew me to this reading. “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.”
I am not sure it is that simple. Aren’t there pages of Terms and Conditions that have to be read and agreed to? And, surely there are huge differences between Jew and Greek, and many other groups of people today? We don’t have to look far beyond the places we inhabit to find those who are marginalized and excluded. Even if, and when, they call on the name of the Lord!!
Maybe it is only God who can bridge the huge divides that surround us.
On a Monday morning it may seem an insurmountable task, but maybe calling on the name of the Lord is a good place to start.
Hear us, when we call on your name, Lord. Save us, Save us. And let us be a bridge over the chasms of division and exclusion in our world. Do not let us fall. Amen
Fredwyn Hosier. Synod pastoral Consultant, Thames North and Elder at Palmers Green URC
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