Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This morning, we hear again from Paul’s letter to the Romans. We are in chapters 3 and 5. The small snippet of Romans 3 declares that all are justified by faith, Jews and Gentiles alike. How can that be? Because the faith Paul is talking about is God’s faith, that it is God’s faith that saves all. And that is a good thing! God’s faithfulness in broken humanity never wavers. God will never abandon us. Just as we read in the Old Testament stories of Moses, Abraham, and Joseph. All three suffered adversity, but God never turned God’s back on them. God’s love and faithfulness brought them through all their trials.
And we cannot earn redemption. No matter how hard we try, we will never be worthy of God’s love. So, does that mean we can do whatever we want? Believe in whatever we want? No. We are to uphold the law. We are called to love our neighbors. We are called to care for those in need. But God does not expect perfection.
Paul expands his explanation of God’s faithfulness in the next part of our reading. Notice Paul says when we were still weak, Jesus died for the ungodly. That’s us. We are ungodly when we go our own way instead of following God’s commands to love one another and care for those in need. We can get distracted by the world. We compete to see who is the best, who has the most money or things. And we classify people by how rich, or smart, or athletic they are. By who they love, by what they look like, and where they come from.
But God keeps filling us with love. Even when we turn away, God loves us. And more importantly, God knows us. God knows everything about us, even the things we keep from everyone, hidden deep in our hearts – our failings and mistakes, the times when we fall short of God’s call to love our neighbors. God still loves us. There is no part of creation that God does not love. Does that mean that we can sit on our hands and bask in God’s love? Of course, not. God loves us no matter what, but God’s love is also calling us to act. We need to, in our own way, share God’s love through what we do, because God loves us.
We are free to love our neighbor in the Agape sense of the word. Since God’s love is active in creation, we too are called to active love, caring for our neighbors in need of help - be that food, clothing, a place to live, or just someone to listen. These are things all of us can do, and many of us already do these things. Since we need not worry about our salvation, we can use our time on Earth caring for each other and reminding each other that God is faithful to all of God’s creation, including us. Amen.