Reflections on Romans 5:6

This was an assignment from my church for the advent devotional this is the text of the verse I was given.

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Initially this looks like a reiteration of the crucifixion: Jesus died.  It is a reminder of our sin and great need.  Of course, there is the hope that we could never provide on our own: Salvation.

But then there is more to it than his death.  He came “at the right time” which was apparently while we were helpless, not once we had life figured out.  He “died for the ungodly,” not because we were such good guys.  It is easy to think he covered the preachers and missionaries, but the fact is, a little later in the chapter it says this was “while we were still sinners” even “while we were enemies.”

So then in our weakness, at our worst, even while we are in opposition, God’s loves us. And He does not change.  This is not a sign of one who wants to pour out his judgement and shame on us.  It isn’t the sign of someone playing favorites.  This shows us a Father who welcomes his child or a shepherd who seeks his sheep and celebrates upon the return of what he has lost.

While we seek distraction in the screen, get our caffeine fix, or feed other addictions, how much time is wasted in shame or fearing judgement when we could be enjoying the Father’s love?  What would it take to stop fighting, accept His ways, and delight in Him?  May we be able to take the time to breathe the breath He has given, pause long enough to hear Him say “I love you,” and allow it to soften our hearts.