Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 18th December 2022: The call to belong to Jesus Christ

Paul Jesus Christ Advent Salvation God Call Romans 1

Reading : Verses from Romans, Chapter 1

advent wreath

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we get this wonderful passage from Paul's letter to the Romans as one of our readings for the day. Paul opens by giving his credentials, after all he didn't know these Christians and had never visited Rome. He actually calls himself a slave - the Greek word dulos is more often translated 'slave' rather than 'servant', which we can compare to his favorite word for Jesus which is 'Lord' (kurios) meaning a master, that is someone who owns the slave. Paul sees himself as completely and utterly devoted as a slave to his master, not out of fear but out of love. He continues with his credentials. He has been called to be an apostle, that is, one sent by Jesus to deliver the gospel, and has been set apart by God for this task to the gentiles (ie non Jews).

As if this isn't enough, Paul continues by laying out the bare bones of God's call to His people, plans foretold by the prophets: that Jesus was a man, born to the line of David; that he also has eternal existence, as evidenced by his resurrection; and that he was declared to be the Son of God. In the name of Jesus, Paul says, the Gospel will be preached to all people about God's unmerited gift of His favour to all who are sinners.

That's the great plan - God's call to us - that gets re-energised each Christmas when we remember that our Saviour was born in a stable in Bethlehem.


Lord Jesus Christ,
as we start our last week of inner soul searching
may we be re-energised at the thought
that You who are our Saviour entered our world
as a human baby
and that You came to offer us salvation.
May we commit ourselves afresh this Christmas
to being Your people,
and resolve to respond to Your offer of love.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look at a present-day call to faith:

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