I'm reading slowly and happily through Romans again. Its finally come round in my New Testament reading circle and I noticed, surprisingly, that I've marked it up more than any of the other NT books. This surprises me because growing up, Romans was my least favorite book of the Bible. As my pagan Remedial Bible for English Majors Professor at Cornell said in the week we covered it, 'This is Paul's sermon notes, badly written at that and completely incomprehensible.' But, reading it now three times in the ESV has made it not only expansive and interesting, but comforting as well. What particularly amazes me, over and over, is that Paul wrote this to a group of Christians he had never met--not only the Christians in Rome, but me. And that, having never met any of them, or me, the lines and verses are particularly, perfectly applicable to me the individual. It strikes to the heart, verse by verse, argument by argument. I always feel this way about the Psalms, but that's poetry, it can possibly be humanly explained (although not really). That a book like Romans could consistently and overwhelmingly convict and comfort shocks me every time.
And, while I'm gushing, what has been particularly lovely this time around is that I'm in the Joseph section of Genesis at the same time. The tragic drama of Joseph being a 'slave' and yet never Really being one spiritually--he was always alive, always clued in--pours so much richness into Paul's discussion of spiritual slavery and death for the Christian.
I could go on and on about this but a couple of children are screaming, and I think it might be pancake day.