Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Feast of Pentecost - Romans 8:14-17

Romans 8:14-17

The conditional clause, “if, in fact, we suffer with him” might cause one to “fall back into fear” especially if one lives a life where suffering is minimal or avoided altogether. Of course all suffering is relative and in that sense painful. Even minor losses are loses none-the-less. But Paul is not talking about minor inconveniences. Nor is he talking about the kind of suffering that is arbitrary or random, like an accident or a sudden loss of health. Or the suffering caused by another. Or the suffering that is personal and borne alone. Paul is talking about the suffering one chooses to endure in the same way that Jesus abandoned the place of perfection to inhabit our flesh that like the flowers of the field fades. The suffering Jesus endured, then, was fully for the sake of others and the glory it brought him was the redemption of a world hell bent on destruction. For us to, “in fact, suffer with him” means we choose the path of pain and sorrow with and for the sake of the other - to pick up the cross that belongs to someone else in the same way Jesus bore our pain and suffered our sorrow. The condition of this clause depends on our possessing the family gene which is love and the good news is that the adoption papers have been signed, sealed and delivered by the One who made us to be children of God.

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