Almighty God, you are the light and life of every soul and my only source of hope. Grant that in this time of worship I may experience your transforming power preparing me for the Ministry of this day. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.*
Last weekend a case of lockdown lethargy hit me; the experience of life began to reflect my status. I felt a rising emotional reaction to restriction, uncertainty, and the lingering effects of the disease in our home.
Over these weeks I have been responding to the invitation to draw closer to God, to linger in his Presence. An approach to the Almighty and Eternal has a certain prerequisite conviction about the possibility. Confidence in a status that precedes experience.
“Consider yourself … alive to God," wrote a former Pharisee whose law-abiding, uber-piety was blown apart by grace personified. Yes, alive and invited to Encounter.
And “… dead to sin,” because living in our old identity, assumes an un-torn veil, which dims our expectation of encounter. Romans 6 is an obituary to the old self, crucified with Jesus. The curse is broken; no longer slaves.
So, we are "alive to God,” fuelled by resurrection life. Free to poke temptation in the eye, with grave-busting power to "walk in a new way of life,” and deployed for acts of radical, generous, Heaven-raising righteousness!
Thus Paul appeals to our inner accountant: recalculate reality, plan today under new ownership. Pursue and expect to encounter the living God.
Because status precedes experience.
When the PM declares the captivity over, we will throw off our locked-down status. Family feasts, lapping waves and flying kites will testify that we have considered ourselves newly alive, living into the free and joyful experience.
For reading. Notes from a former Pharisee. Romans 6:1-14
For humming. "Free, Amen" by "We the Kingdom"
*Prayer provided by Job and Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer, Upper Room Books.