Dear Freedom Fighters,

The Book of Galatians has often been the Magna Charta of Christian liberty.  The letter deals with the question of whether Gentiles must become Jews before they become Christians.  It is a book about the issue of diversity.

Paul begins the letter ticked off! Of his thirteen letters it is the only one he does not start with a friendly greeting. At the time of the writing the Jews were refusing to eat with the Gentiles. In Saint Paul’s mind things had gotten out of hand.

So Paul calls a church conference. He asks all parties involved to come to Jerusalem for a meeting.  The purpose of the gathering is to sort out the differences.  In the second chapter we find them beginning to come together and get beyond what separates them. In Galatians 2:8-10 they essentially, “recognized the grace that had been given to them.” They saw God in one another.  They could celebrate “Koinonia” (Christian community) as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, despite ongoing differences.  The miracle was they could see Jesus where they had not seen him before.

The church has never been united without differences. Jesus calls us to see God's grace within those we have differences of opinions with.

In verse 10 the one concession Paul makes is that the “poor are to be remembered.”  Would it not help our ecumenical discussions if we focused more on the poor.

May God bless us all this Sunday as Jesus opens up the book of Galatians to us.

Still in one peace,

Pastor  David J Jensen


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