I have been reading Romans lately, very slowly. I find myself rereading whole chapters. I think I have read chapter 5,6,7,8 the last three nights. I have obviously read them before, those four chapters are heavily underlined and highlighted in my Bible. Romans 7:14-25 has really sung to me.
I don't know about you, but when I read the letters of Paul, any of them actually, but particularly Romans, I feel like Paul is talking to, yelling at, castigating, and comforting me. Romans has given me such comfort the last few days.
It is good to be reminded that I am saved through Grace. That the Law is there and I am judged by it, but that the Gospel trumps the Law and through Jesus Christ I am saved. I don't need anything more than faith, that's it. Simple. Easy.
I have often looked at faith as a road. I walk the faith road. In theory, it should be smooth sailing, right? But somehow I fall, trip, or am blindsided by life and sin, other times I see a neat path off the faith road and I take that, get lost and try and scurry back to the faith road. It doesn't always work and I am often scratched. I have this image of Jesus, it might not be the most Lutherand image, but it gives me great peace and joy. This image is of Jesus walking with me. Usually behind me, sometimes in front of me, and often beside me. He leads me, much like he does in Psalm 23, but as I walk and am distracted by something I lose sight of him and go off on my own. He comes and finds me, like the lost sheep in the parable. Or when I stumble and fall over a rock (i.e. Sin he stoops over and helps me back up again, brushes me off and away we go, again.
Romans is a hard book to read for me. It lays everything out so nicely and logically. I feel like I am letting someone down after I read it, but I also feel great joy that I have faith in something and someone greater than the sin I wallow in. So, I shall continue to read Romans and other Pauline letters because when it all gets boiled down it really is all about faith not about what song I sang on Sunday in church, not whether Kieshnick is the Pres of LCMS or Preus. Its not about the NIV versus the Message bible... its not about the human aspect. Its about that faith thing. That faith that I have through the Holy Spirit. That's what makes it alright, that's the thing that is most important. And for that reason I am very thankful.