“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10 : 9
Ever since 11th February this year I have been reading the thickest book in my library; it is called ‘Paul and the Faithfulness of God’, written by Tom Wright and it is 1519 pages long.
Though at times reading it is like wading through treacle I have really enjoyed the challenge of doing so and my heart, mind and soul have been shaken and stirred by it. This gem of a text is in what are probably the least read chapters Paul wrote, and his hardest to understand.
This text, to use a children’s playground idea, acts like a seesaw. It is like the point of balance which makes a seesaw work. It is central to not only Romans 9, 10 and 11, sitting in the middle of chapter 10 as it does, it is central to all that he says in this letter and it was central to his life and ministry. The point of the balance is that Jesus is Lord because God has raised him from the dead. Since he has been raised from the dead, so everything has changed in this world. Since he has been raised from the dead we can now call him Lord and know we are saved.
This text is like a playground swing. It is exhilarating and exciting as it tempts us to go higher and higher. This text in fact dares us to go as high as we possibly can and not to be afraid. Then from this highest point, it dares us to jump and land as far as we can. This text dares us to do what some might think is ridiculous. This text dares us to leave the safety of the ground and to fly as far as we can.This text dares us not to play it safe with God but to know the exhilaration of his love.
This text is also like the highest playground slide imaginable. As we climb the steps to reach the top we pause surveying the scene around us before we slide as fast as possible to the bottom. However, with this text the slide really works. Instead of going disappointingly slow, the slide has been highly polished to help you go as fast as possible. What this text points to is the view you have before you slide. The view from the top is wonderful. It is view of sin forgiven. It is a view of love embraced. It is a view of peace discovered. It is a view of joy inexpressible. It is a view of a life lived well serving Jesus.
I love playgrounds and this is a great text to play in, to be refreshed by, to be renewed by and may this be so for all of us.