Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 6:12-13 (NLT)
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
Reflection: Romans 6:12-13 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
United to Christ and enslaved to God (6:1–23)
God’s grace not only forgives sins, but also delivers us from sinning. For grace does more than justify: it also sanctifies. It unites us to Christ (1– 14), and it initiates us into a new slavery to righteousness (15– 23).
a. United to Christ – understanding our baptism (1–14)
(vs 12-13) We must therefore offer ourselves to God
Paul calls us to rise up in rebellion against sin. ‘Precisely because we are “free from sin”, we have to fight against it….’
Instead of giving in to sin, letting it rule over our bodies and surrendering them to its service, Paul now exhorts us to the positive alternative: rather offer yourselves to God (13b). The command not to offer ourselves to sin… indicates that we must not go on doing it. The exhortation to offer ourselves to God… may not be a call for a once-for-all surrender, but it at least suggests ‘deliberate and decisive commitment’.
As with the negative prohibitions, so with the positive commands, Paul looks beyond a general self-offering to the presentation of the parts (again both members and faculties) of our bodies to God, this time as instruments (or weapons) of righteousness (13c). And the ground on which these exhortations are based is that we have been brought from death to life (13b). The logic is clear. Since we have died to sin, it is inconceivable that we should let sin reign in us or offer ourselves to it. Since we are alive to God, it is only appropriate that we should offer ourselves and our faculties to him.
This theme of life and death, or rather death and life, runs right through this section. Christ died and rose. We have died and risen with him. We must therefore regard ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God. And, as those who are alive from death, we must offer ourselves to his service.
Prayer of St. Francis
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen