Monday, October 05, 2009
Blogging Through Romans: Romans 9:1-5
Romans 9: 1-5
Clearly, Paul’s new Christian vocation is rubbing hard against his Jewishness. He knows something has changed. Either he has changed or his fellow Jews have. Paul evidently still feels deep kinship towards his fellow Jews, even to the point that he wishes “that I myself have been accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh.”
But, of course, he can’t. Paul spends a good amount of time in the chapters leading up to this demonstrating how he is bound to Christ. Christ’s Church is now his family, whether he likes it or not. Jesus put him where he is. And even if Paul wanted to go back to his earlier life, he couldn’t. Saul is dead. Paul is alive.
I can relate to Paul. I know what Paul is feeling. Often, when I spend time with non-Christian friends from home, I feel a sense of loss. Sometimes I think that the “old” Kevin has been lost, and the “new” Kevin is a diminished version of the old. I remember the excitement of questioning, or exploring new ideas about who God is, the challenge of being confronted with the God of the bible.
But I can’t go back. God has changed me and is changing me. I came to realize that “new” doesn’t mean “diminished.”
The same is for you. God is busy transforming you into a new person. That means that the old has passed away. It often means saying good-bye to an old life, an old, comfortable way of looking at the world and relating to others.
But God didn’t say that being a new creation would be easy. The best description Paul could come up with was child birth. And anyone who’s been in a delivery room while a baby is being born will tell you that bear new life is not pretty or pain-free. But out of that suffering, a new life emerges.
How is God changing you? Do you see evidence of transformation? What do you miss about your “old” life? What would you like God to change in your life?