Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Again, we find Paul giving advice on how to follow Christ in our world. No doubt, the world of Paul and our 21st-century world are vastly different from one another. However, the effect of the world on our faith can be found to be similar. Early Christians, like Paul, believed that Christ introduced a whole new age or world. So Paul is comparing the new Age of Christ with the old age, or old world. He is essentially saying that when you are in Christ, you have entered a whole new world that exists right alongside the old world.
This new world starts with our transformation. As we are transformed, our desires are transformed. The way we talk may be transformed. But as life goes, our transformation becomes an event of the past. It may not be a dramatic event. We begin to ease our way back into the old way of living life. Paul’s message to the Roman Christians recognizes this tendency to fall back into old habits and patterns of thought. He encourages the Romans and us today to seek renewal in every moment of every day. God offers us never-ending grace that sustains us and can renew us. Will we allow that constant flow of grace to change us?
There are many ways to be renewed. Some find renewal through a moving worship service or choral anthem. Others may find renewal through grace-filled community focused on offering encouragement in the midst of real struggles. Many find renewal through personal study of the Scriptures. What is absolutely vital is that we consistently seek renewal. Lent is a season focused on renewal. What is the way you feel most renewed in mind, body, and spirit? How do you feel God renewing you during this Lenten season?
God, you are the one who promises to make all things new. We recognize our need to be made new, to be constantly reminded of the transformative work you’ve done in our lives. Help us to know your renewing grace in a more real way this Lenten season so that we may celebrate new life on Resurrection Sunday alongside you. Amen.