By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
Reflection—v. 1, Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh…
Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome contains the most detailed description of his theology about how there is space in the church for both Jewish and Gentile Christians. Jewish Christians, as their traditions prescribed, found following Jewish law to be of the upmost importance. Newly converted Gentile Christians found this aspect of belief in Christ to be non-essential. For the Christian community, it was a highly-polarized time. Each group looked to the other and spitefully thought to themselves that only they were practicing Christianity as it should be practiced. In his letter, Paul calls upon the example of Abraham, the facilitator of God’s law to the Jewish people, to remind everyone that at one time even he did not have the law, but was called upon by God for his faithfulness. In our own polarizing times, when it is easy to judge others—for who they voted for, where they are from, whether or not they work or can afford insurance, or whether or not they are practicing Christianity by our own set of standards—let us instead be called together. After all, in our humanity we truly do have something in common.
Prayer God of our ancestors, gather us together that we may find common ground in the humanness of one another, and treat one another accordingly.