“So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, ‘Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?’” vss. 2-3
Oh how hard it is for the community of faith to actually practice inclusion! In Peter’s day the circumcised believers found it impossible to believe that the uncircumcised could be included among the faithful. When word came to them that Peter had been seen having table fellowship with Gentiles they were appalled and asked him for an explanation. While we now have no trouble with the uncircumcised, we have a multitude of other reasons for breaking fellowship with other believers. In recent years hundreds of congregations have been splintered by issues related to sexuality. While those differences have led to the breaking of denominational ties, it’s the political differences that have proven to be devastating for congregations. For one reason or another believers have found it increasingly difficult to be in communion with those having different political convictions. Many have felt excluded or discounted, and have found it easier simply to leave for communities where their views are accepted. Sadly, too many have just dropped out of church altogether. How blessed it is when we can simply celebrate the unity and the diversity that we have in Christ Jesus. Such a community of faith is truly a taste of heaven on earth, and an antidote to the horrible divisiveness that is tearing our society apart on every level.
Thought for the Day: How can congregations promote both unity and diversity?