Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for May 2nd – Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148, Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35
Songs: All Creatures of our God and King – UMH 62; In Christ there is no East or West – UMH 548; We will Glorify – TFWS 2087
Recently someone asked me if I had any dietary restrictions. My response was that as a pastor I make a point to eat anything. Eating, especially within the church is not just about nourishment, it is also about fellowship and sharing our lives with one another. Peter learned this lesson as he had this vision from God. As a Jew, he had lots of dietary restrictions, but he came to realize that his ministry was to reach all people, not just Jews, which meant that he had to expand his taste for food. At first the apostles were upset with Peter, but came to realize that we are all called to welcome all people, not just the ones that make sense to us. Fellowship is an important part of welcoming.
You have heard of Maundy Thursday – well this is Maundy Sunday. Jesus has washed to feet of his disciples and told them that they must do the same to one another. He commands us to love one another as he has loved us. That is what Maundy means – love one another. Not as we love, but as God loves. That is a huge commandment! In verses 31 and 32 Jesus says that his ministry glorifies God. His death glorifies God, his resurrection glorifies God, his life Glorifies God, his love for us glorifies God. Does our character and the way we treat one another glorify God also?
Questions: What things do we consider to be so sacred that they cannot be changed? When we declare things in our lives sacred, who are we excluding from fellowship? How do we make others who are not like us feel welcome in our midst? How do we intentionally love one another as God loves us? Would we see people differently if we were able to see them through the eyes of God and not our own eyes?