Read Romans 15:14-21.
Paul is an extreme guy. When we meet him in Acts as Saul, he’s not just a participant in the stoning of Stephen, he’s something of an emcee as people lay their coats at his feet. He breathes threats and murder against followers of Christ until, of course, he becomes one. After his conversion, in contrast, nothing escapes his lips except words of Christ’s work. Once he becomes a follower and evangelist, he becomes the most extreme one he can be. Paul does nothing halfway. It makes sense then, as we read letters he intended for the church in Rome, that he writes boldly and speaks of the power of signs and wonders. Paul is an extreme guy, and his experience of following Christ is extreme as well. What encouragement can ordinary people find in his letters? God still speaks in signs and wonders today. But God also speaks in the still, small voice that whispers kindness over disrespect. Understanding over assuming. Connection over hatred. It is a sign and wonder when you preach the gospel with your actions, even if this good news is proclaimed without words. “Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand” not only by the ways that Paul did it, but even today by the ordinary ways that you do it. Listen for that still, small voice to guide you.
God for whom all things are possible, we praise you, for your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Teach us what to say and how to act at every hour, such that your good news is fully proclaimed. Amen.
Rev. Beatrix Weil