Thursday, July 20, 2006

Romans 12:1-8

Boy am I fortunate! Having moved out of Romans 9-11, a VERY difficult section, today’s verses are straight forward and lend themselves readily to comment. In fact, the biggest difficulty in this passage is deciding how to limit my comments!

With that in mind, the focus I’m going to run with is the idea of “transformation”. As you no doubt know, the Greek word itself is a form of “metamorphosis”. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with bugs understands this word, how a lowly caterpillar becomes a winged flower, a butterfly. It “morphs”.

And, of course, “morph” is tucked right there in “metamorphosis”. It’s another word we’ve all become familiar with with the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, or now the Transformers that can morph from giant robots into all kinds of cool machines. The idea in each of these examples is change; I once was something but now I’m something else.

In other words, there is a before and after to our life story. In fact, in this life there is an ongoing series of before and afters where the latest “after” becomes the next before. So it brings up the question—how is God changing you? Because really, that is what the Bible is—a collection of stories how, through salvation history, God changes people, and therefore of how He both wants to and is able to change you. (And me, of course.) It’s the story of before and afters.

So what is your story? What is mine? Do we have one? Are we telling it?

I’ve thought about this a lot the last several years, and I’ve come to believe that one of the surest marks of a healthy Christian community that really is centered on Jesus as Lord and Savior is that it will be a community of stories. These stories will be stories of lives changed by the power of God at work in them. They’ll be the kind of stories a person can’t help but tell, and they will encourage and inspire those who hear them to continue offering themselves as living sacrifices so that they will be transformed to a greater extent than ever before.

So again…what is your story? What is mine? Do we have one? Are we telling it? If not, what are we going to do about it as we seek to live out one of the central truths these verses (and indeed the Bible) has to offer?

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