Bringing People Together?
ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Wednesday, September 2, 2020: Acts 21:17-26.
"Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself observe and guard the law."
Paul arrives in Jerusalem and testifies to the power of God in his ministry. This is his second trip to Jerusalem to defend his work with the Gentiles, and this time the concern isn't his teaching to Gentiles but to the Jews that live among them. There is still a clear divide between Jew and Gentile, in spite of Jesus teaching and Peter's defense of Paul with Gentile believers. Other elders are still holding the line of division.
So Paul, desiring a compromise agrees to their purification plans. Perhaps he hopes to build a bridge connecting Jew and Gentile? He seems to come with humility and a willingness to listen.
We too live in a divided age. There are many that would tell us we should give up hope to compromise or to reconcile with those that differ from us. We win! You lose! Defeat them! Humiliate them! These are the mantras for our political season.
Perhaps meeting people where they are with a humble heart and a willing spirit, the same Spirit Paul brought to Jerusalem, might be a better strategy for bringing people together.
I still believe in the power of Jesus to bring us together. Thanks be to God!