“If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord.
Therefore whether we live or die, we belong to God.”
Romans 14:8 (Common English Bible)
For many of us our religious life is a bundle of shreds and patches. There is an unmistakable change in our spirit and attitude when we move from our private devotions to the common affairs of the day. We leave something behind when we leave our time of solitude with God. We do not meet all of life in the presence of the unseen. The result is a faith that appears stitched-up so many times that we are embarrassed.
Here, in this sentence from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman Church, we are urged to clothe ourselves in another garment – to approach all of life in a conscious and all-controlling communion with God. This is a call to live in such a manner that when we pass from one thing to another, from one time of day to another, there is no change of atmosphere. It is to clothe ourselves with the conscious and intentional recognition that all of life is lived before God, that all of life is consecrated ground.
God seeks unbroken communion with each of us. What that looks like is to face every moment of life, every matter that requires our attention, in the fellowship of an unseen friend. Everything is to be viewed in the light of God’s presence. It is this unfailing sense of God’s presence that makes life a continual Holy Space.
“Burning bush” moments are those that are aflame with an unmistakable presence of God. Naturally, this expression is taken from the Old Testament when Moses was confronted by God in a bush that was engulfed in flames but not destroyed. Often they are welcomed moments by people of faith. Such moments provide confidence that we do not tread the complexities and difficulties of life alone. They are moments when God shows-up and by that holy presence, we are strengthened. Yet, the entire forest of our lives is not aflame with the glory of the Lord. Paul’s invitation here in Romans is to live every moment in ceaseless worship and experience the whole world as God’s Holy Temple.