21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We’re tempted to be right all the time. (In fact, we know we’re right, don’t we?) Whether it’s a question about politics or the statue downtown or even dipping a toe into an unfamiliar field like public health. If everyone thought like we did all the problems would just disappear. Obviously we’re not always right, no matter who much we’d like to think so. And even, and especially, when we are right, it’s helpful to remember what Paul tells all of us: “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”—those who are right, and those who are wrong. The beginning of reconciliation isn’t highlighting our differences—who is right and who is wrong; maybe it’s recognizing what we have in common. That “all” carries a lot of weight. So does the Savior.
God, renew us by your Spirit to be peacemakers and repairers of the breach, that even in our failures and our brokenness we would reveal your wholeness in ourselves, in Jesus Christ. Amen.