“For whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning that we, by patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.” – Romans 15:4
Memorizing this verse was an assignment my father, the minister, gave to a class of 7-9 year olds at Piney River Church of Christ near Dickson, TN. The language of the King James version made the message was largely unaccessible to me. I understood the general gist of the verse – that scripture was written to teach us about God’s love – but not its connection to the rest of this passage.
Paul is writing to Christians in Rome encouraging unity and willingness to love and serve one another. He refers to the Old Testament which was more familiar to early Christians than it is to many of us. He wanted his audience to understand that Jesus, the root of Jesse, is the hope of all the world. God’s incredible power came into the world through Jesus and the salvation and forgiveness he offers. The joy and peace of trusting in God is available to all believers. God sends his Spirit among us to transform our lives and empower each of us to do what we can to be the change God dreams for the world.
- Linda Brandau