Reflecting on Romans 5: 6-11
In her wonderful book God’s Word is Alive, Alice Camille reflects on those comforting words of St. Paul today,“While we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-9).She recalls a Baptist service she attended where the minister offered a MOST unusual communion call: This table is set for sinners. The righteous can all go home now. Will the sinners please come forward to share this food?
And, of course, every person in the church lined up to receive. Can you imagine being the one who went home? That would never happen, because we all know that we are sinners. (And even if a person was feeling particularly righteous, it would be too embarrassing to just walk out, wouldn’t it?)
You know, it fits beautifully with our own Eucharistic liturgy, where, just before receiving, we all pray, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof; but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” None of us is worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. This is not something any of us can ever earn. In fact, to say so borders on blasphemy.
As Matt Maher’s hymn says so beautifully, “Lord, I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I need you.” I have never been more aware of my fallen nature, and my need for Christ every minute of my life. I thank God for that awareness. As St. Paul points out, it is precisely because we were sinners that Christ came to save us. If we were righteous, there would be need of Jesus. He is our righteousness.
And we need him, oh we need him, every hour we need him.
How can you get in touch with your need for Christ?
Kathy McGovern ©2023