December 1, 2016
Scripture Reading: Romans 15:4-13
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name’ –Romans 15:7-9
Making the diverse one is easier said than done. Paul felt called to take the message of Jesus to non-Jewish people. People unacquainted with the rich, ancient traditions of Judaism. He walked a fine line as he helped Jews, steeped in the faith from the womb, equally welcome the Gentiles who in Jewish perception were unclean. Do we get a sense of the massive communications problems with which Paul dealt? He could not say, “It is like the Exodus or the exiles” with the expectation that his Gentile audience had any idea about what he spoke. Paul apparently knew the works of the ancient Greek philosophers and could weave them into his discussions with Gentiles but most likely not with Jews.
We face the same challenge today with an even wider canvass of differences in a world with instant communications. Millions can read an off-handed tweet sent in a burst of anger in a few minutes. We are quickly becoming a populace not trusting much if anything we read at least on social media. We are also being distracted by what is probably less than relevant in the long run, while important issues land at the bottom of the rubble of postings and responses. I do not see this as either good or bad. It is change. We will adapt to it, hopefully for the good. I once advised state employees never to send anything via email that they would not mind their mother reading on the front page of the local paper. I think that is even better advice today.
During this Advent season let us examine all our communications considering whether they support oneness. If they do not, how can they be changed to help us become one?
Prayer: Lord, may the words of my mouth, and my tweets and my emails and all my posts and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you*. Amen.
*Derived from Psalm 19:14
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.