So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. (Rom 12:1)
When Paul wrote Romans he was under house arrest on his way to Rome. It was the right of every Roman Citizen to appeal to the Emperor if they were charged with a crime. When Paul was falsely accused by others he used his Roman citizenship to lodge such a claim.
For a man who had spent the last few years or his life travelling around Southern Europe sharing good news about Jesus house arrest really put a dent in his plans. He had always intended to get to Spain for instance but couldn’t.
Not getting to do what you want, when you want, how you want sound familiar? 2020 has definitely been a year of restrictions for all of us.
Rather than spend all his time looking at the things he has lost, Paul repeatedly reminds Christians of all the things they still have; things that can never be lost. They are too many to list in this small message!
Where has your head been this week? Have you spent more time mourning the loss of what you can’t do rather than giving thanks for what you can?
We can worship, we can pray, we can still connect with each other through phone or zoom or going for a walk. God has not abandoned us nor left us to our own devices but walks with us as he promised to do. All things to be thankful for.
I am always amazed and challenged that Paul could see so much positive in the world when he himself was restricted. Yes his freedom was curtailed, yet his place and his purpose in serving God were still there.
Where are your head and heart when you read this?