Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another week has passed

Grace and greetings.

Thursday I wrote about the bear that just laid in the sand while everybody stood around and took pictures. At times, it looked like the bear was trying to stand up, but was not able. I thought that it was just too tired. Later, I heard why. It turns out that if you look at the back right hip, you will notice a red spot that looks like blood. If the story is right, it turns out that somebody had shot the bear, and he made it to the beach before collapsing. The police let the bear rest for a couple of hours then tried to chase the bear back into the water. The bear was not able to get up, so I guess that "they" (not sure just who they were) ended up killing the bear. This was the second bear in a week that was shot and killed when there was really a question as to the need to kill.
But this leads me into tonight's meditation: Living with Others. It is based on Romans 14.1-13.
During the past several weeks, we have been following the Lectionary through the Letter to the Romans. Tonight’s reading is the last that we will be going through in this part of the Lectionary cycle. Basically, in the last passage, Paul tells the Romans, and all others, that hear the letter, to “play nice with each other.”

We are encouraged to welcome each other, or as Paul writes, those who are strong (in the faith) and those who are weak. We do not welcome others so that we can change their beliefs and habits; but rather we welcome each other so that we can be supportive of each other, help each other grow and remain faithful in our walk with the Lord our God.

Paul uses an example of eating meat verses those who do not, but only eat vegetables. Those who ate meat did so with the understanding that God gave the meat to be eaten. Other worried that the meat may have been sacrificed and offered to some other god, or maybe they already knew that too much of a meat diet can cause the body harm. Of course each group felt superior over the other. In some respects it is like alcohol, there are those who can have a glass of wine with their dinner every so often. The other group says that all alcohol is not good, so they abstain altogether. Paul is calling us to be able to stand together and support one another in their faith, encourage them to remain true to their walk of faith whether we drink or abstain, eat meat or abstain. The issue is not whether we eat or drink, but how we help each other in their Faith Journey. We each have a time, when we come before God with an accounting to our own lives, not in how we did in comparison, but how true we lived, how true we walked our own talk.

Paul writes that we are not to judge each other in who walks a more Holy Walk, but to help each other remain faithful to God, not to cause another to stumble or fall because of what we may say or do.

Support each other to walk the path that they have chosen; encourage each other through prayer and love. While we do that, we will realize that we have our own wrongs to worry about, rather than somebody else’s wrongs.

Paul continues his letter with encouragement and personal greetings, but I want to finish with the verse Romans 15.13. “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Alleluia and Amen
Peace and blessings.

1 comment:

Arvay said...

That's so sad. Thank you for elucidating your lovely thoughts.