Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FIVE
ORBIT – DAY TWENTY FIVE
Welcome to another Orbit – a way to spend a few minutes each day with God. Each weekday we’ll look at a short passage from the Bible, have an opportunity to pray and reflect, and then be challenged with one practical way of responding to God’s word. We really hope these will be helpful – if you miss one, don’t worry, you can either catch up… or just miss one!
BIBLE READING: Romans 5: 6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I don’t like to spoil movies, but when one has been out for more than 20 years, I think it’s fair game. One of my guilty-pleasure films is Armageddon – the story of a team of typically rag-tag heroes sent to destroy a massive meteor before it wipes out life on Earth. In the dramatic finale, they plant a huge bomb on the meteor and plan to escape to a safe distance, but then the remote detonation system fails. Someone has to stay behind to blow up the bomb manually.
Enter the heroic Bruce Willis. He steps in to save his future son-in-law, Ben Affleck, who had drawn the short straw, and he gives his life so that Ben, his fiancee – and all of us may live. And in a sense, this is the kind of story that Paul is alluding to in this passage. For a good person – or someone we loved, and thought more deserving of a future than us – we might possibly choose to give up our life. We see this when people jump in front of speeding cars to push their own child to safety, for example. There are circumstances where people sacrifice themselves to save those they love.
But what Paul is pointing out here is that in dying on the cross, Jesus gave up his life for even the least deserving person. For criminals, for the terminally greedy, for bullies and even the worst monsters in our society. Of course, those people still need to accept God’s love and change their lives for that sacrifice to save them, but the fact remains that Jesus made a way for them to live too. A fabulous old hymn contains the line: “the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” Jesus didn’t just die for what we might term good people – he died for everyone.
This might not make a lot of sense. It might not be how we’d choose to run things if we were God. But this is the amazing nature of God’s grace – that although we have all gone our own way and embraced sin, God loved us enough to make a way back to him.
This is true for us as people – but it is also true for us as a world. The systemic symbols of sin in our society – racism, greed, inequality and injustice – all make us a pretty unworthy planet. Yet God believed we were a planet worth saving. We were ungodly, but God chose to make us godly through Jesus. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord Jesus I thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. I pray that you would inspire me to respond to your incredible act of love in the way I live my everyday life. Help me to reject sin, and to choose your better way. Not because otherwise I won’t deserve your love, but because your love for me deserves my devotion in return. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
The Bible says that love keeps no record of wrongs – and God does not keep a list of our sins. But sometimes it is healthy to confess the things that we have done wrong recently, in order to acknowledge the amazing power of God’s forgiveness, and our willingness to change rather than keep on sinning. So today, make a list of the things you’re sorry for, and then pray through that list – asking God to forgive you and help you not to make the same mistakes again. When you’re done, tear up, shred or delete the list – because as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103 says, so far has he removed our sins from us.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit on Monday. Thanks for taking part today!