All summer long, we’re reading St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, a small group of Christians living in the heart of the capital of the Roman empire. It’s an amazing document. Paul has not yet been to Rome, he has not yet met any of the Christians there. As a matter of fact, it’s an anachronism to even call them Christians. They were just people who got baptized into Christ.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Paul asks. “Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Note that Paul here lists every deprivation of human dignity he can think of: from poverty to shame, danger to death. “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
It’s so important to hold on to that promise. Paul writes these words because he knows that the Christian way of life is the way of the cross. This week Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure in a field or a pearl of great price: you get rid of everything else so you can get it.
So, in the events of this week, remember that no matter what happens, nothing will separate God’s love from you. No suffering, no bill, no law, no small-minded and evil congress, no power at all, not even death, can separate you and God. You were made part of God’s family in baptism—you were joined to the death and resurrection of Christ. You are God’s. You are the treasure that God gave everything to claim.
Nobody, no one, can take God from you.