Friday, October 06, 2006

Acts 21:37-22:16

Paul continues to be a shining example of the type of Christian Jesus calls all of us to be. The various races of those times (not too different from today) pretty much stuck together. The Jews pretty much stuck together and that was fine with the Romans who occupied Israel at that time. There was very little, if any, commonality between the races (and Judaism at that time was considered more of a race than a religion).

Paul, however, reached out to Jews and non-Jews alike. The Jews did not like this and, as was the case with Jesus, it was the Jews who did not trust Paul and wanted him out of the way. They simply did not want to deal with what Paul was saying. The true message of Christianity was uncomfortable to the Jews.

How many of us are like those Jews of that time? Are we uncomfortable reaching out to non-Christians? Are we uncomfortable reaching out to other races, to people about whom we have pre-conceived notions?

Let’s face it. Any time we reach beyond the comfort of our own space it is difficult. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus tells us we must do.

The mission of St. Matthews is to know and share God’s love. We can only do that among each other for so long. That is relatively easy. Although I am sure that God is happy that we are a family at St. Matthews, that is not what He calls us to do. We are called to live our mission. We are required to reach out to all who are seeking peace, all who are seeking comfort from a world gone crazy.

The great thing about having the strong community at St. Matthews is that we can help each other achieve our Christian calling. We can support each other and give each other a high-five when we succeed against our very nature and share the word and the love of Christ with others who would otherwise be strangers to us. That is what Paul was all about.

Vicki Nelson

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