Grace in Community

Daily reading: Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21
Thursday May 25, 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’s response is more about life in community than it is about the individual.   Paul will not tell the Jewish members of the community that they need to stop following the law, but he will say that the law does not need to be imposed upon the Gentile members of the community.  He goes onto to point out how even the Jewish leaders are not following the law.  Cephas, otherwise known as Peter, has on occasion broken kosher law and eaten with Gentiles, but when in the presence of Jews he refused to break bread with the Gentiles that were present.  He asked both Peter and Barnabas who, according to Paul, participated in this hypocrisy, “If you, though you’re a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you require the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Paul firmly believes that absolutely no one will be made righteous by adhering to the law; rather we are justified through grace.  Grace then is a gift given to us by the faithfulness of Christ. 

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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