Wednesday, December 18
Romans 1:1–7
In today’s reading we have jumped at least 700 years from Ahaz and Israel’s woes to the Apostle Paul. He writes to the Christians at Rome and reminds them of his own pedigree as one set apart and called by God. But he also reminds the Romans that they are set apart because of what Christ has done for them. Christ does not call people into random tasks or empty rituals. Nor does he call people because of some kind of internal merit they may possess. Christ calls people into the specific actions of grace that reflect God’s saving grace.

Christ’s presence on earth was and is the Shekinah— the glory of God that Israel so longed to see. Christ saves us from meaningless religion and oppressive culture. Paul reminds the Roman Christians that salvation includes the call to become a follower of Jesus Christ. We learn from Paul’s guidance as well.

Thank you for blessing us and calling us to be yours, Lord Jesus Christ. You have made us your beloved no matter where we live. Amen.

From O Come, O Come Emmanuel, a publication of Luther Seminary. Used with permission. You may download O Come, O Come Emmanuel via this link. If you subscribe to Luther Seminary’s God Pause, you will receive O Come, O Come, Emmanuel in your email inbox each day of Advent. If you’re not a God Pause subscriber, sign up here and select “God Pause Daily Devotions.” You’ll continue to receive daily God Pause devotions, written by Luther Seminary alumni, after Advent ends.

Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.