Romans 3:31 (The Message)
“But by shifting our focus from what we do to what God does, don’t we cancel out all our careful keeping of the rules and ways God commanded? -Not at all. What happens, in fact, is that by putting that entire way of life in its proper place, we confirm it.”
A Word of Hope
Last week I had the second of two surgeries to remove cataracts. Wow. For nearly two years I have been living in a visual fog and didn’t realize it. Not only was my vision blurry, but colors were not bright, and my peripheral vision was limited. The change was instantaneous when the surgeon peeled away the cataracts and replaced my natural lenses with prescription lenses (yes, I was fully awake during the surgery). The artificial lens in my right eye aids my far vision and the left eye lens is for short range vision. So, I don’t need glasses for either reading or driving. My brain is still rewiring to shift from eye to eye but I already have a different perspective on the world. I have used glasses since I was 13, they were second nature. But, why did I put off the surgery for 2 years until my vision was so blurry I had trouble driving at night?
Changing my view of the world isn’t easy. Whether talking about my physical eye-sight or moral and spiritual insight. Changing perspective or challenging my views isn’t easy. We learn in today’s assigned reading (Romans 3:21 – 31) that the church members in Rome were having a hard time changing their view of what they thought was true and the way they thought God operated.
Paul was trying to convince the Romans (and us) that the life and example of Jesus changes the way we view and encounter God. Through Jesus we see that God engages us directly if we open ourselves to the relationship. This realization changes the way we view ourselves and others.
The Romans had to rethink their heritage as Jews interconnected with God. Their whole world-view and how they treated others was based on what they thought was a special claim on God (verses 27 – 30). Paul taught them that their view, their focus, needed to change. And when they changed their perspective, their vision if you will, everything was put in its right place (verse 31.) They could see more clearly.
I can’t tell you if my various views, whether they be political, social, or religious, are right or not. I know I constantly have to be challenging them. I have to always be looking for a new perspective, a new vision, view the world in new ways. I need to peel off the cataracts and look through new clearer lenses. Ultimately, I want to look at the world through God’s eyes.
Dear God of my being. Your vision is a gift. Peel off my cataracts.