Reflection on Romans 14:1-12 (15th Sunday after Pentecost)

Romans 14: 5-6:  Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord.

Some thoughts about today that tie into Romans 14: 5-6

Be glad for today, this day, a day to live and see and touch and feel, a day to make things happen, to discover and to create, the day filled with sights both strange and familiar, this day of the everyday, the common and the dull, spiced with the sudden surprise of difference, a day for magic, a day for wonder, this day, one more day, given for you to explore, given for you to enjoy, so that even if it is a day with hardships, it is your day to change, to mold and to shape, to offer love and receive love, this day, today a day to cherish just like all the other days that have flowed from heaven into your heart. (from The Medicine Wheel by Steven Charleston)

Paul offers the advice that people should welcome one another as we welcome each new day and not judge different opinions as we judge each day. and at some time, they all seem to be alike. In this current period, we are in each day can seem to be just like another, but we have the ability to change that. We can make each day special, make it full of excitement, full of love and cherish those days that God has given us.

So why spoil a good day by having struggles about issues we face today. Issues we may see as important and issues not everyone can agree upon. Paul was more concerned about the way we deal with differences than about the fact that we have differences. Christ does not require us to agree on every issue, but he does call us to love one another. The guidance that Paul gave Roman Christians will serve us well today if we can bring ourselves to hear it. Paul calls us to welcome those with whom we have differences, not to hold one another in contempt or to judge each other. He calls us to recognize our connection to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to acknowledge that each of us is accountable to God and to trust God. Given the sharp divide in the church today over many issues, it is difficult to do what Paul calls us to do. It is very difficult not to believe that our position is right and the other is wrong—dreadfully wrong. It is difficult not to judge others and to welcome those who disagree with us as our brothers and sisters.  He calls us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and acknowledge that each of us is accountable to God. And that God welcomes each and every one of us even though we disagree.

Paul’s reason for keeping with those whose practice differs from ours is that God is judge of all of us, and one judge is enough. We are not judges of each other. In contemporary American culture, this text, as well as Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged” Paul provides us reasons for the advice to bear with those who think and act differently from each of us on matters of belief and practice. For the Kingdom of God is not about differences but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” With the gifts of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit, we can live with a lot of disagreement over many other things and we should stop condemning each other. And why we need to have our own convictions, and not impose our convictions on others. His reason is this: I don’t live or die for myself. I am to live for Christ, and to die for Christ. I belong to the Lord. Paul is saying we are not our own masters. We are not free to regulate our lives however we choose. We belong to the Lord, our Master, and we live or die to do his will. We should LOVE. Not condemn or criticize. We should welcome and accept one another.

Let us pray: Faithful God, forgive us for those times when we treat others with less kindness than you do. We want to believe in others the way you believe in us and so as we go out to live the coming week show us more of the life you have designed especially for us to live. This we pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen

This Sunday Sept 13th is Grandparents Day:

Heavenly Father, thank You for today, Thank You for my dear family and all that You have blessed me with. I pray that You fill my grandparents’ hearts with peace and strength. I pray that their days go smoothly and that their lives are touched in a special way. Reveal Yourself to them in marvelous ways. I pray that any barriers that separate us be let down, and that we would live as a team for You. I pray that Your will be done today and always. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus we pray. Amen.

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