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Romans 1:1-17, Gospel as Salvation

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
— Romans 1:11-12

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, May 19, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Main Idea: Where Paul used letters to communicate, our online presence communicates how we live our faith lives (or don’t).

Paul traveled to many countries on his missionary journeys and wrote letters to keep in touch with the ones he had visited or planned to visit again. The Epistle to the Romans was written while he was in Greece to encourage Christians living in Rome to cultivate and nurture their faith. He desired to see them, first so he could encourage them face-to-face, and second, to be encouraged by them. Paul wrote that the gospel, for which he was not ashamed, was salvation for all who believed.

We live in a world where communication is so readily available by technology, that we sometimes forget the art of communication and its purpose. Communication at its finest is a vulnerable art. At its core, communication serves to connect us. And we connect only when we let our guard down and share our stories, our hopes and dreams, our challenges and failures. When we use tech, we often edit what is communicated, so we are only showing the best of ourselves. Sometimes we use our tech to indulge in rants without really expecting or wanting to listen to opposing viewpoints.

Tech is not a great evil. It can be used to keep in touch over long distances. Where once people could only afford a weekly phone call, now they can be in touch in real time anywhere for as long as they want. Where once it took a long time to make important announcements, now it can be done to mass audiences in seconds. But there are limits to what tech can offer our communication.

Where Paul communicated the gospel through speech and letters, we communicate the gospel (or we don’t) through our actions, through our words, through our photos, through our perspectives, all of which can be posted online. Is our online presence consistent with what the gospel would have us say about ourselves and our faith?

If so, in what ways?