Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday in Lent 3

Romans 4:1-12
v. 5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.

It may be put in Paul's somewhat typical convoluted speeh, but this is good news indeed. It's a good verse to memorize for anyone who is sometimes called "ungodly" by others (which in some persons' eyes includes all Episcopalians, right?).

God justifies the ungodly. The only requirement is that we believe that. Now isn't that a kick in the pants?

This is why our pimary act of worship is Eucharist, a word that comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving. We do not worship God in order to please God, to appease God. We worship out of gratitude for what God has done. Ours is not a sacrifice of atonement (which has already been done for us, once and for all), but a "sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving."

So we are called to do everything out of gratitude, including following "the law." Faith is supreme, which means just that, faith is supreme. This is St. Paul's mantra, and great gift to us, the ungodly.

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