Father Ola on Romans 5:1-8

“God proves His love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romains 5:8)

I think that’s where I’m going to start today That final sentence in Romans was written roughly 30 years after the death of Christ. What Paul is doing is trying to systemize and bring some kind of structure to all the things that were said about Jesus and by Jesus. Some would say that he is creating Christianity here He is interpreting what all of that meant and trying to make some kind of sense of it. I think the main message here is that the gospel, the good message is not just for the Jews but for the Gentiles as well for everyone.

Needless to say, not everybody appreciated that. I think there were a lot of people saying, ‘Paul, you are taking it too far. You’re being far too generous. You’re being too liberal here’, but I think history shows us over and over again that we’ve always underestimated the love of God. We’ve underestimated the depth of it .

Today, for example, it’s clear to most people where I live, that God does not really care what kind of sexual preference you might have. For the ministers and priests in my church, the Church of Sweden, it’s not an issue to marry and bless a same-sex couple, but not many years ago, let’s say 50 years ago, that was totally unacceptable, and I think that if you go back another 50 years, you went straight to prison for doing such a thing, and maybe also for actually being in a same-sex marriage. So, we’re evolving in our understanding of the love that God has for us. The circles of compassion and care are widening constantly.

Another way we might risk diminishing the love of God is when we say that God can only be felt through Christianity. I think it takes a very long time to understand a religion, and I think it takes a whole life to understand your own religion, probably even more than that. Therefore, I can only vouch for Christianity, and that’s my task as a minister, to vouch for Christianity, but that does not mean that God cannot be felt, experienced and lived through other religions. In fact, I hope that is the case “.

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. I think that is the takeaway message from today’s text. God’s love is bigger than ours. Jesus’ death on the cross shows that, when he’s dying for the people who are crucifying him, I think there’s something here that we should take away and think about.

First broadcast on www.thesundayeucharist.com on June 18, 2023.
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