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 10:16-21 (NLT)
But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have:
“The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”
But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,
“I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”
And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying,
“I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”
But regarding Israel, God said,
“All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”
Reflection: Romans 10:16-21 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
The plan of God for Jews and Gentiles: (Romans 9–11)
The dominant theme [of these three chapters] is Jewish unbelief, together with the problems which it raised…. Each chapter handles a different aspect of God’s relation to Israel, past, present and future:
- Israel’s fall (9: 1– 33): God’s purpose of election
- Israel’s fault (10: 1– 21): God’s dismay over her disobedience
- Israel’s future (11: 1– 32): God’s long-term design
- Doxology (11: 33– 36): God’s wisdom and generosity
Israel’s fault: God’s dismay over her disobedience (10:1–21)
(10:16-21) The reason for Israel’s unbelief
God’s initiative to Israel is even more pronounced [than to the Gentiles]. He does not simply allow himself to be found; he actively holds out his hands to them. Like a parent inviting a child to come home, offering a hug and a kiss, and promising a welcome, so God has opened and stretched out his arms to his people, and has kept them continuously outstretched, all day long, pleading with them to return. But he has received no response. They do not even give him the neutral response of the Gentiles, who decline either to ask or to seek. No, their response is negative, resistant, recalcitrant, dismissive. They are determined to remain a disobedient and obstinate people. We feel God’s dismay, his grief.
Hear O Israel & Come People of the Risen King
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