Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday in Lent 4

Romans 8:28-39
vv. 38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Well there you have it. The news doesn't get any better than this.

One of the synonyms we use for salvation is "atonement," which literally means what it says "at-one-ment," the state of being "at one." The separation between God and humanity is over in Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus lived totally at one with God. He was betrayed, victimized and died, experiencing separation, so much so that he cries from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" But ultmately his "at-one-ment" could not be broken, and so he rose from the dead. The separation of death could not hold him.

The good news is this story is not just about one man, Jesus. Paul says it is about us, that in Christ's life, death and resurrection the separation between God and humanity has been broken and we are eternally one. Even death, which remains a real part of life, cannot separate us from God. In fact, quite the opposite. It is the breakthrough to the full experience of "at-one-ment," the unmediated experience of God's love.

I don't feel at one with God every day. Those things that Paul mentions above do get in the way sometimes. But they don't change the fact that I am "marked as Christ's own for ever," as we say in the baptismal rite. Therein lies our comfort, our hope, our very life.

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