By: Holly Reimer
Romans 5:12-19
Reflection—v. 15 ‘The free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.’

We talk a lot about the differences between transactional and transformational relationships in our community. Transactional relationships mirror the exchange of goods and services when we make purchases, and are tit-for-tat interactions—you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. We expect to receive some kind of goods or services from someone if we do something for them. This is not who God is. This is not why Jesus came. Jesus desires to be in a relationship with us, a relationship that transforms our entire being. This is a gift that comes through Christ, who speaks so radically against the ways of the world and encourages us to be countercultural. Transformation is difficult- -it is a process. It is the difference between buying someone a meal and sending them on their way, and sitting down with someone to eat a meal together. One is a transaction the other invites relationship-forming transformation. Such a transformation honors the belovedness of our creation and God’s desire for wellness and wholeness for each person—not because we have ‘earned’ it, but because, as the text reminds us, it is a ‘free grace.’ Love for the individual in the relationship is at the core of such a gracious relationship and thus speaks of the transformation that happens within us. In God’s grace, we are changed.

Prayer: May we continue to be challenged into transformational relationships.

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