The scripture says “No one who believes in God will be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call out.
For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
~ Romans 10: 11-13
On this first Sunday of Lent we receive a blessing for our journey from the One who created and is creating still. From the book of Romans we are told that those who call out to God for blessing, for courage, for comfort and strength, all – all will be heard. All will be saved. The Greek word for saved is sode-zo and means “protected,” “delivered,” “healed,” “to be made whole.”
It will serve us well today and in the coming days to hold on to these words. These are words for all of us, all who turn and return to the One who calls us by name. These words of protection, of healing, of being made whole speak to us when we are stepping out with excitement and courage and when we are weary and stepping out only on faith. They bring strength and reassurance. Ageless, timeless words speaking across centuries to us, this day.
Words shouted about building walls and barriers fall silent to these words of God’s inclusiveness. There is no place for them here. Instead we are told that God calls to us all, each one – short and tall, old and young, have and have nots, -- all are God’s children. Could there be a more important message for us to hear as the rhetoric heats up and the lines are drawn deeper and deeper in the sand?
On this first Sunday of Lent, on this early March spring-forward Sunday, our stepping-out scripture gives us plenty to pray over. Ours is not to draw lines of separation, but to love and serve our God. From these words we are reminded that it is not our work to determine who is in and who is out, not to say who gets to sit at the table and who does not. Instead our work is to remember at whose table we sit. All of us, not just some.