Claimed …. Called …. Sent

Tuesday, April 9

Romans 10:8-10 (NRSV)
“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.”

In today’s scripture, Paul paraphrases a quote from Moses’ farewell to the Israelites found in Deuteronomy 30:14, wherein Moses reminded them that God’s word (or perhaps God’s kingdom on earth) was very near to them in their mouths and hearts.  Paul asserts that this phrase is applicable to Jesus.  Paul declares that believing in our hearts and stating with our voices that Jesus is the Son of God, who was raised from the dead, is our salvation. We must not only to be receptive but also be proactive in transmitting the news to others for by doing so we are like Christ proclaiming that the Kingdom of God has come near, or is at hand.

While Jesus was alive, the Kingdom of God was indeed at hand, through his human presence. He had commanded his disciples to love God with all their being and to love their neighbors as themselves. He taught them to pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” After he ascended to heaven, his followers then (and in 2019) are to carry on his message. Through Christ-like behavior, they (and we) were (are) to perpetuate that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Through our acts of love and kindness, such as listening to a child read her poems, working in a food pantry, driving a handicapped person to a medical appointment, or being a Sunday School teacher for eight rowdy kindergarten boys, we can show by words and actions that the Kingdom of God is at hand.  As Christians, until Jesus comes again, and come again he will, we are to be the doers and teachers of his message. In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “Here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Our Father, help our deeds and our utterances to be more like Christ’s and that thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen. 

Paul Phillips