Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Galatians 1:18-2:10

In today’s reading, Paul recounts some of his travels, including his journey to Jerusalem. There he saw James, Cephas and John who were the “pillars” of the church there. There seems to have been some debate on whether circumcision and adherence to the law was necessary for the faithful or for those converting to the faith. The bottom line was no, it wasn’t. As our devotion said yesterday, some are so focused on the rules or the law that they can’t see beyond it. But we have freedom in Christ.

What Paul was able to do is to convince those who stick to the law that the gospel he was preaching was valid and worthwhile. The agreement was for James, John and Cephas to stay with the Jews and Paul would continue to go to the gentiles. They divided up the responsibility. The only caveat was that Paul was to “remember the Poor” this is what they have in common – this is what we all have in common. Regardless of how we express our faith, whether we are conservative or liberal in our faith, if we are Episcopalian, Baptist, or Roman Catholic we all are called to remember the poor.

We must look beyond our own needs and our own theological interpretations, because in the end, they really don’t mean as much as taking care of each other – especially those in need – the poor among us. In fact, if we got past our denominational differences and focused on the needs of others, my guess is the needs of the poor would actually be met so that they were no longer in need.

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