January 23, 2021
Daily Reading: Romans 3
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one”… for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:10, 23 , NIV)
I grew up in a Catholic home and went to a Catholic elementary school. Our family said grace before dinner and knelt around my parent’s bed each night to pray. When the season of Lent arrived each year in the spring, my class would go to church every Friday afternoon for the Stations of the Cross. In 3rd grade, a nun told me that if I went every Friday for a Lent season, I would be ‘saved.’ (I don’t remember asking why I needed to go in the current year if I had gone for all 6 Friday Lent services the two previous years.)
I even remember thinking, as an 8-year old, that I could be good like Jesus and ‘act’ like Him. As delusional as it might sound to have such thoughts, I find that even now, as a ‘mature’ adult, I sometimes think that I can do “good things” in my own strength and earn points in heaven. But Romans 3 makes it quite clear to me that I am not righteous and that I fall well short of the glory of God. Sobering words, these are!
If my story ended here, that would be sad. There would be no hope in sight. The great news is that there is more to the story. But it all starts with admitting that I am a sinner.
These are emotionally charged days. I am sometimes asked and tempted to label people, to deny God’s truth, or vote for a certain candidate or proposition. I see things happening in the world around me, and I struggle to avoid judging. I find that remembering Romans 3:10 and 23 goes a long way in helping me be thankful for His grace as I recall that I am a sinner too.