Readings: Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 13, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42.
I’ve tried many different themes for this blog, and yet when I finally went with the idea I felt like God was giving me, that is, the whole “Edify” theme, and that I could write anything I liked about virtually anything as long as it fit the qualification of edification, the blog started to evolve. After all is said and done, what this blog does is document my personal journey and relationship with God. So with that in mind, these lectionary reflections are going to also relate to my personal journey.
This year, I started using The Voice translation as my translation of choice, after using a mix of the NIV and The Message last year, both of which I love. The reason I have been using a different version every year since I quit being King James only, is that for me, the different styles help me to see different truths in the Bible. The last month and a half has been my first ever experience with the lectionary and I incorporated the lectionary into my life to have some structure which was one basic need I felt I had for my faith.
With all of that being said, I’ve read Romans 6 plenty of times, mostly in the King James Version. Reading in The Voice is very different, but it’s also beautiful. Sometimes the dynamic between right and wrong is difficult, when I left fundamentalism I went into a sort of rebellion against fundamentalist teachings, I traded in things like modesty doctrine for skimpy clothes, which in the end wasn’t the right thing to do either. Basically, it was true that I had the freedom to wear whatever I wanted to wear. But that doesn’t mean that I should have worn whatever I wanted to wear, and that’s kind of the picture that Romans 6 is giving.
Yeah, grace is a free gift, that doesn’t mean that I should take it and then keep living the way I was living. The beautiful thing about grace is that it changes a person, that’s its function, what it’s supposed to do. Instead of living the same dead-end life I used to live, which would only result in death at any rate, I now have life. Life and death are opposites, and a life lived once a person has experienced grace is supposed to reflect that life. Instead of living “deeper in my unruly life” as The Voice phrases it, I now have a different life, one that is supposed to be holy. Grace was a free gift and I can do whatever I want with it, but to do so wouldn’t be living a grace-filled life. Faith requires that I continue to live in this grace that I have been given, which means choosing obedience, choosing allegiance to God above all others.