Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
The church in ancient Rome finds itself amid cultural, economic, emotional, and religious revolution. Everything is changing. People are being accused and attacked. They are frightened and defensive. The future is uncertain. There is chaos without and within, and this underground movement in first century Rome committed to the Way of Jesus finds itself gathered with little in common. Jews and Gentiles together, they can’t even agree on what is right to eat or what day is right for worship. One’s act of honor is another’s offense.
How do you forgive when you can’t even agree that an offense has occurred? And yet, for Paul, the practice of forgiveness is a taproot reaching to the deep reservoir of our common baptism—unyielding rootedness that holds the community in place as a storm of uncertainty rages around it. Consider it a currency we steward that enables relationships to flourish, flowing from the one thing we share in common: the presence of a God who is unimaginably loving and just, a God who makes a way when there is no way.
Enter into worship. Sunday morning, 10:00am in-person or online.
Readings: Exodus 14:19-31 † Psalm 114 † Romans 14:1-12 † Matthew 18:21-35
About the Art: Swanson, John August. Moses, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56554 [retrieved September 11, 2023]. Original source: Estate of John August Swanson, https://www.johnaugustswanson.com/.
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