URC Daily Devotion Thursday, 24 August 2023

Thursday, 24 August 2023  Romans 13: 11 – 14
 
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Reflection

Paul encourages the Romans to ‘wake up’ and ‘put on their clothes.’  For Paul ‘waking up’ was to be ready for the day in which Christ would return to establish an earthly reign.  While our Roman brothers and sisters expected Jesus to return soon after his death, how do we live as ‘woke’ people 2000 years later?

The tense of the verb used for ‘waking up’ is closer to ‘being awakened.’  Perhaps today we can interpret Romans as a reminder to us that Jesus has already awakened us to a new way of life, a way that is healing for us as his followers and for the world. Jesus’ presence is made real, not in waiting for him to appear again, but in living as he has instructed.  Being awakened is an awareness of the needs of people and planet, and responding to those needs in keeping with Jesus’ teachings.  ‘Wake up, people, see the needs next door and do something.  Don’t wait any longer to make a change that is good for your neighbours or good for the planet.  The time is not tomorrow but now!’

After waking up, which kind of clothes do we wear?  Paul encourages us to be clothed with Christ.  Perhaps ‘putting’ on Jesus is the ability to keep close to us those qualities that Paul identifies when he writes about God’s love—patience, kindness, perseverance.  Or Jesus’ clear vision to live in a manner that takes note of the needs of the ‘other’ and outcast, that brings healing to those who are hurt or lost.  Perhaps it doesn’t really matter what kind of clothes we choose—a hoodie or a suit, a dress or jeans—what matters is that we keep those qualities of love for our neighbour as close as the clothes we wear daily.  These qualities never go out of fashion or are outgrown.  Love and compassion are always in fashion.

Prayer

Living Lord, wake us up to your presence.  
Clothe us in your love.  
Rather than waiting for you to return, 
help us be people who share your love, 
seek your justice, 
and bring your healing 
to the life of the world today.

 

 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Martha McInnes, Minister, Cardiff and Penarth 

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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