Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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On Sunday I took my children to the video store to rent a movie. They could choose one of the family films. They chose the Tim Allen movie from a few years back called Jungle 2 Jungle. In the movie there is one scene of joy and celebration as an outdoor concert turns into a huge dance party. What caught my attention was the refrain of the song that the rock band was playing over and over again as the song turned into an extended jam session. The singer sang the words over and over again as people jumped and danced in great exhilaration. She sang, "It's my life. I can do what I want."
The human condition is summed up in these words: "It's MY life. I can do what I want." We live in a society of such fierce, ingrained individualism that people truly live by this motto. We are bombarded by messages that would lead us to believe that as long as no one is getting directly hurt we can do whatever we feel like doing. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are free, autonomous individuals.
"Wrong!" Paul says in the sixth chapter of Romans. Read it and discover your freedom, mortal. Here is your autonomy! Here is your individualism! You are a SLAVE! That's right. You have a master. Your life is not your own. Either your master is sin and your are dead in your relationship to God, or your master is God in Christ Jesus and you are alive.
Well, seems like a pretty simple choice, right? Go ahead. Choose. Wait. Did you make it through today without sinning (turning in on yourself-separating yourself from God and others) in some way? Oh. Did you make it through yesterday? You have made your choice. You said, "It's my life. I can do what I want." What you did was sin. That's your big choice, and you're dead. (Don't despair. Keep reading.)
Thanks be to God that God in Christ has chosen life! Christ died for your sin. Christ died to wrench you out of death and into life. You have been made alive wholly by God's gracious, abounding love. God knows that you are a slave to sin. God knows that you are dead in your tracks before you even get started. God calls you through the promises of baptism. "Dear child of mine, no longer enslave yourself to sin. It only leads to death. See, I have made you alive to be my obedient slave-a life that leads to righteousness." God chooses life for you!
Your life is not your own. You have been bought with a price, the life of God's Son. Live then as God's obedient slave forever praising and serving God and loving your neighbor as you love yourself. You won't be perfect. Sin will catch you again and again. But God in Christ will always be there to set you free.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will so instill in you faith in God's promise of life that you become God's good and faithful slave.