Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
A wet day in Chicago and Kelli and I were heading from home at our usual 5 a.m. The Mini Clubman soon warmed up. We listened to Karl and June for a bit on WMBI, but then we turned off the radio to look at scripture. I will often open a commentary and read what it says, but this time Kelli and I memorized Romans 5:1-5. I haven’t memorized anything for a while, so looking repeatedly at 5 verses opened my eyes.
When I read the passage I realised that I had added words which weren’t there. I added ‘the’ in front of ‘hope’ in verse 2 for example. It changes things when you realise that a word is absent. After memorizing it, we talked about what it meant. How could we restate the ideas in our own words? Answering this question made sure that we had understood what we had memorized. Thirdly, we thought about ISIS, cultural decline, Illinois budget deficits, and our own insecurities – how do these verses bring hope?
Fourthly we started to connect the passage with other passages in scripture – especially those written by Paul. We see faith, hope, and love here like we do in 1 Corinthians 13, for example. Finally we thought of what we could create. Kelli talked about creating a Bible study, or a book around the issue of identity in the book of Romans. I wondered if this passage might work well for our Bible study workbook for 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves.
Starting with memorization of 5 verses in a Mini, we had got to action points on what we might do to change our world. How do you study scripture each day?
Dear God, in this world of shifting shadows and dark lies, help us to root ourselves firmly in life and light. May we open our hearts to eternal truth and apply it to our world.
- What is the main idea of Romans 5:1-5?
- Is hope central or another concept?
- Why does Paul often link faith, hope, and love?
- How is Bloom’s taxonomy employed in the Mini Cooper in the ride into school (read above)?
- How can Bloom’s taxonomy be employed with children when having daily devotions with them?