By: Dani Izac, Alumna, Class of 2007
Scripture: Romans 6:1-11
I remember meticulously studying the Bible for my religion class during my years in middle school. We often focused on the practices of the Old Testament. We sketched the layout and dimensions of the Tabernacle. We memorized the preparation steps for various offerings. We reviewed all of the laws, feasts, daily life observations. And among the forbidden foods, assembly of lampstands, and health regulations, I was overwhelmed for the people of the Old Testament. I also felt worried for my 6th grade self. I am a rule-follower—how would I have ever make it in Biblical times among so many details for upholding the law and honoring God?
Our curriculum eventually moved into the New Testament. Into the Gospel. Into Paul’s letters. The themes and focus shifted. We are no longer slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. I remember the sense of peace and overwhelming gratitude I experienced as I grasped the concept. Living for God was no longer bound by step-by-step instruction—it was about receiving the ultimate sacrifice and love of his Son! I no longer felt defeated by fear of imperfection or failure, I felt triumphant in Christ’s victory over sin. May all of our hearts be directed toward this ultimate gift and celebration as we rejoice in this season of Advent!
Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down; fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure unbounding love thou art; visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart. Amen. (Charles Wesley, 1747)