Everyone should read Romans 14

24 Feb

Good Morning,

When you read the part of Paul’s letter that is called Romans 14, you have to wonder why the church has divided over and over and over again on details about belief or worship style.  For some reason people have focused on, “get thee out from among them”[for some reason I remember it in KJV], instead of “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do.”  Imagine our world if we took this verse seriously.

14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

I wish the phrase “Remember, they have their own history to deal with.  Treat them gently.” could be over every door way.  Kind of like a mezuzah.  We could memorize it and touch the door frame before we enter any room, maybe we would start to treat each other with more kindness.

2-4 For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

God has invited all people to the table.  I know that Paul is talking about Christians, but he is also talking about Jews, and since Islam was founded on the teaching of Christ, I think Muslims would be included.  Mostly, I think the Divine Presence sees all of us as precious children.

Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

I also love the phrase, “free us from the petty tyrannies of each other”.  I think the current political climate [or is it craziness], wants to find more and more petty tyrannies.  What if those who are in opposition to President Obama naming a Supreme Court Justice said instead, “He was duly elected to lead our nation, of course we should support him doing his job.”

Yet, I go back to my mantra, “the only person I can change is ME.”  I work on that rather than Congress and hope I have some small success with the power of the Divine working in me.

Peace,

Mary

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