Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Difference and Dignity for All CreationActs 14:1-10
“Paul looked directly at him and saw that he had faith to be healed…”
Paul is one of the many individuals in the Bible who continues to inspire and amaze me every time I read about him. Paul’s life was filled with suffering, endurance and if we glean anything from studying his life is: all that He did, he did for one reason alone- his genuine love for the Lord. Jesus was the first one to exemplify what it looked like to embrace difference and treat everyone with dignity despite gender, age, and status in society and Paul tried to emulate the same in spreading the gospel of Christ.
In this passage, Paul is embarking on his first mission trip along with his mentor, Barnabas to speak to both Jews and Greeks, two very distinct groups: one who staunchly believed in laws and traditions and refused to accept Jesus, the fulfillment of the law they have always studied about; the other who were worldly and lived to satisfy their passions. They were able to successfully share the gospel to some from both groups by God’s grace. It’s bizarre how the others, especially the Jews, plotted against the apostles by accepting the differences with the Gentiles and unify for a malicious cause and not unify to bring glory to God. Paul and Barnabas did what they came to do in Iconium and kept moving before any harm befell them.
When they came to Lystra, Paul saw the man who was lame from birth. He was able to discern with God’s help and healed the man spiritually and physically, a social outcast deemed worthy in God’s eyes. When we believe and move forward even with faith as small as a mustard seed, God will bless us abundantly! It is getting difficult to navigate the changing needs of different generations and how to be inclusive, still hold onto our values and revamp without changing the ultimate purpose as God intended. Are we able to embrace our own and others we tend to outcast due to cultural and social differences and join as one for the Kingdom of God?
Are we willing to move forward with courage even if we don’t have the support we would like from our own?
Abba Father, would you please help us to be focused on living out the gospel as we take steps to share the gospel with one another with love and respect? Please give us the courage to move in spite of our fears towards what is just and holy. Amen.
Thought for the Day
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection!
Bethany Mar Thoma Church, New York