Romans 7:14-25a –
The Christian life is one of inner conflict. It is a struggle between the lower and the higher selves. It is a battle between the old and the new Adam. It is a clash between the law of the body and the law of the mind.
What is so wrong?
We do what we don’t want to do – “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want.” And we don’t do what we want to do – “but I do the very thing I hate.” V. 15
Our better self wants to do right – “I have this desire to do what is right.” Each of us wants to do the right thing. Not only do we know what is right. We know we should fulfill it. The victim of this civil war cries out in despair, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” v. 24 This conflict that persists, can only lead to despair of self.
Is there no end? No way out? Paul found the solution in Christ for whom he gives thanks for this deliverance. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! V. 25
Affirm the higher self? Better yet, rejoice in Christ’s deliverance. St. Paul says, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being.” v. 22
Christ is your peace. Who brings together the two warring selves into one integrated, harmonious person. He has redeemed you. And when we come to Him daily in contrition and faith He forgives our sins.
But He does us even better. He gives you His Holy Spirit. So that you can be the hands, the feet, the fingers, and the toes of Jesus in your world.
The Reformers taught that a farmer may worship God by being a good farmer. The Reformation proclaimed that a parent, changing diapers, could be as near to Jesus as the Pope. This was scandal. But it was also revolutionary.
"We can't be holy in the abstract. Instead we become a holy blacksmith. Or a holy mother. Or a holy physician. Or a holy systems analyst. We seek God in and through our particular vocation and place in life…Our task is not to somehow inject God into our work. But to join God in the work He is already doing in and through our vocational lives. In the daily rhythms for everyone everywhere, we live our lives in the marketplaces of this world. In homes and neighborhoods. In schools and on farms. In hospitals and businesses. And our vocations are bound up with the ordinary work that ordinary people do. We are not great shots across the bow of history. Rather, by simple grace. We are hints of hope.”
Through your daily work you become the hands and feet the fingers and toes of Jesus. Bloom where you are planted; in short, become a sermon in shoes.
A prayer before we study the Word – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.
In our living - Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing were we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your live supporting us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher ThingsLiturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life.- Tish Harrison Warren © 2016 Intervarsity Press pg. 94, 189