The Message of Salvation to All
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven? ’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss? ’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news”
Jesus Walks on the Water
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God”
There is one line that jumps out at me today, it is the line from Roman’s that says “there is no distinction between Jew or Greek”. With all the conflicts going on in Gaza and with Christians and other minority groups being persecuted this line jumps out and tells us that we are all one humanity and have basic human needs. Oh cause Paul was talking about a oneness with Christ Jesus and in this area of Fulwood we have a particularly strong ecumenical passion which tells us there is no Anglicans, no Methodists, no Baptists, no Catholics; we are all Christians.
We should be grateful in this country that we live in relative peace, but with all that is going on in the conflicts over the world in Iraq and Gazza we should think of those people. There are distinctions between the religions and beliefs of these people, there are Christians, Muslims, and Jews. But we are all humans.
It sometimes makes it hard to stand up and speak out against these things because people might think you are siding with one of the sides or factions. But are we not just standing up for what it is to be ing human?
Christian aid is a great charity that bares no distinction in whom it treats, it basically just looks at a situation and asks is there a human need.
With all these events going on we can get tired of the daily onslaught and Jesus in Matthew 14:22 after he dismissed the crowds went up to the mountain to pray. This shows us that He too got tired and had needs. Jesus shows us he is fully God and fully Human.
Brian asked us to pray for peace throughout the world, to pray for all the human race having no distinctions.
Paul was talking about a new way of looking at things - in Jesus Christ we are one. In the old testament if you obeyed the law you would be righteous, in the New testament if we believe in Jesus then we are righteous through Christ. We are righteous before God but not from our own efforts, but by faith in Jesus Christ - we are not “self-righteous”, but we are “Christ-righteous”. There is no one that is excluded from this gift.
Jesus has taken away our sin.
We are reminded through the words of the Church;
We are “one family, united in faith in Jesus Christ”
this reminds us that we are also;
“One humanity, broken by sin that needs compassion”
Lord God of compassion,
whose will is for peace built on righteousness,
we pray for peace in Gaza and Israel;
for an end to hostilities,
for comfort and help for all who suffer,
and for reconciliation between palestine and Israel,
through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.