Boundaries of Grace

Daily reading: Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21
Wednesday May 24, 2017

Daily reading: However, we know that a person isn’t made righteous by the works of the Law but rather through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.  We ourselves believed in Christ Jesus so that we could be made righteous by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the Law – because no one will be made righteous by the works of the Law. Galatians 2:16

Paul knows what it means to follow the law so strictly that it becomes a weapon that restricts and silences and even works to impede the work of God.  So he writes to the communities in Galatia when he becomes aware that there are leaders that are telling the community, that in order to be part of the faith community that they have to follow Torah law, specifically in the matters of circumcision and kosher food laws.  They have another gospel that they have presented that supports this view point.  These new leaders we can guess have led the communities to believe that Paul only revealed a part of the law and that they are now providing the entire law.
So the same question is being circulated in Galatia that was the topic of debate at the Jerusalem Council, namely “Do Gentiles have to become Jews in order to fully follow Christ?”
What the early church movement has to work through is: how is it that we fully welcome in everyone? 
What are the parameters for being included?
By what means are Gentiles to be welcomed in?
Paul’s response to the question of whether or not Gentiles have to become law observant Jews in order to follow Christ is “absolutely not.”

Prayer: Gracious Creator, unsettle our assumptions and our egos.  Open us up to hear your word and grace to welcome in everyone, so that there is room enough for your Holy Spirit to stretch us so there is room for Christ to dwell in and among us.  Amen.

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