Under Obligation

14 I am under obligation … (Romans 1).

Paul considered himself one who is under obligation, that is, a debtor: he owed the gospel to all people.  This seems so different in my mind as I think on it, and sounds so strange in my ears as I read the words.  Actually, I don’t like it much.  I don’t like to owe; I strive to be debt free; I don’t want to be obliged to anyone.  I don’t want to be under anyone; I want to be king of the hill.  I don’t want to have to help those who should be able to help themselves (yes, a lie).

But here’s the thing: I can talk about being a servant all day long, but if I do not consider myself under obligation — a debtor — to people, then my words are empty.  If I am interacting with folks without thinking about how I can give away to them what God has given to me, then my faith is rather empty.  Wow!  What a standard — and how far short I fall!

Lord, I cannot remember being so humbled by Your Word, as I am right now.  I know on my own I am absolutely not up to this task — please help me!  And please help all of us at St. John’s as well — for none of us is really up to the task — This Day, or any day.  Amen.