Wide Welcome

Daily reading: Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29
Sunday May 28, 2017

Galatians 3:23-28
23 Before faith came, we were guarded under the Law, locked up until faith that was coming would be revealed, 24 so that the Law became our custodian until Christ so that we might be made righteous by faith.

25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian.
26 You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Today we focus on Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia.  It is a letter that is infused with a message of grace.

As we explore the early church movement, what we find is that there is a lot to work out.  Jesus’ message of radical inclusion continues to challenge his followers, as the message moves further away from its Jewish home base. 

There was plenty of debate in the early in the church about Gentile believers and whether they need to become law observing Jews.  So while this is not a heated debate in current congregations, there are still questions that exist in the church about who is welcome and who is not. 

There are two current debates that have made news coverage lately. The United Methodist church is wrestling with the issue of whether or not the LGBTQ community will be granted full equality in all levels of membership and leadership in their churches.  A much smaller news piece is on Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell who has been called to serve as lead minister of Calvary Baptist church in Waco, Texas. Much conversation has come up as to whether women can be leaders of congregations.  As part of the body of Christ, while these issues are not heated debates in our congregation, they do affect us when we see our connection to the larger body. 

How might a message of grace help to guide these conversations when we find that we disagree about who God welcomes in?

Prayer: Gracious God, allow me to be open to your unconditional love.  May it fill me so that my life is altered and I am able to see the world through your grace filled lens.  May Christ be before me, behind me, to my right and left and be my guide today.  Amen.


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