Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.Romans 5:1-5, Exodus 6:9
Last week I launched a new feature, floating the idea of a weekly video blog post. Your response was overwhelmingly positive, so here we go again.
This time, rather than simply read from a post I have already published, I am reversing the process. I recorded the video first; I may write something later.
My inspiration has come, again, from Sunday morning at church (HMPC), where pastor Mac Schafer read the scriptures I reference in the video, as well as talking about the life, ministry, and legacy of late 18th Century cleric John Chavis, a black Presbyterian preacher educated under Witherspoon at Princeton in the 1790’s and one of the shining intellects of his time.
What really grabbed me was the idea, from Romans 5, of “standing in grace,” and the assurance that “hope does not disappoint.” This in contrast to the Exodus reading, where the Children of Israel did not listen to God – could not listen – “because of their broken spirit.”
Life is hard sometimes. Certainly for the Israelites in Exodus. Absolutely for John Chavis in the 1700s. And, in various ways, life also can be a struggle for us today.
But our spirits are not broken because we stand in grace! And, in and through Jesus, hope does not ever disappoint! This is not just an intellectual exercise but the reality of the Christian experience.
Listen, if you will (just five minutes). I believe you will find something to hold onto, and to share.