God Welcomes Gentiles

God Welcomes Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48)

We have all witnessed many examples of the behaviors and attitudes Paul lists in Galatians 5:19-21. They surround us daily, unfortunately even on Sundays. However, verse 22 begins with one of the big “buts” of Scripture. It contrasts a previous life with the potential and promise of a life lived under a different authority. It is a life lived through the power of the Spirit. Paul follows with a reminder for those of us who claim Christ, that we have put to death those things that are evident in a sinful nature. But an additional response is called for. It is a response that has become increasingly difficult in the personalized culture we find ourselves in. It is a call of concern for others. It is a call to participate in the community of faith. Once we are saved, we have only begun our journey.

In chapter 6 the issues are living a spiritual life and the destructiveness of comparing ourselves to others. Both are crucial points in a healthy community of faith. Here Paul shares the delicate balance between empowering and enabling. There is our need for a sense of compassion and action in verses 1 and 2 followed by a warning to watch out on our own account. Perhaps his warning comes to those who might become impressed with their own ability compared to those poor unfortunate souls who fall short. We live intertwined lives. We have a responsibility to each other to alleviate burdens, although never at the cost of being able to carry our own. The call for pure motives is plain, and so is the warning of the dangers of comparison. The harvest is at stake here.

It’s amazing, whether I sit with my latte or with the emblems of Communion, in our ability and even insistence on living on separate islands, all the while surrounded by the ocean of potential relationships.

We join together at leisure and at worship with smiles pasted to our faces and “don’t go there” attitudes. We can be quite alone on the journey surrounded by many traveling the same path. Then as now, Paul calls us to live different because we are different. We are not spectators. We are kinship people in an interactive world, empowered by the Spirit to impact those we come in contact with every day.

Brothers and Sisters get to know each other, you might find out you have been missing something.



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