Just As Christ Welcomed You!

A reading for Tuesday, December 8, 2015: Romans 15:7-13.

The Apostle Paul was able to see God in ways that many in his age were not. Up to the point of Paul, Jesus was thought to be exclusively a Jewish movement of faith. "Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God..." Nobody imagined that Jesus would also come for the Gentiles, who were at times even enemies of the Jewish people.

And yet Paul believed Jesus Christ came also "in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy." So Paul wore out his sandals traveling all across Asia and Greece, and Turkey in hopes of spreading Christ's message to glorify God for all people, Jew and Gentile. We know from the book of Acts there was even widespread disagreement about whether this was faithful, and Paul was even summoned back to Jerusalem to give account of his vision of Jesus Christ for the Gentiles.

Sometimes faith moves in ways we don't expect, and includes people we don't want to embrace. Yet the message of Christ is to welcome all, "just as Christ has welcomed you," in order that God might be glorified for creating all people and ruling over all things. For we did not deserve the love of God either when we received it, and what else can we do but pass it along to others. Even those that scare us...


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