Monday, September 10, 2018

Devotion - Monday, September 10

It is in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."  We read about this in Acts 11.  Cyprus and Cyrene are the two who begin to speak of Jesus to Gentiles.  Other early witnesses spoke only to the Jews.  The efforts of Cyprus and Cyrene lead to a great number "that believed and turned to the the Lord."

Christianity has become so thoroughly associated with Western culture that we often forget its origins.  There was considerable debate as to whether Christianity ought to be an add on to Jewish faith.  The earliest followers discussed long into the nights whether a follower of Jesus had to also convert to Judaism.   

The love of God and the truth of God's Word will overcome any human obstacles, but think how differently Christianity might look had Cyprus and Cyrene (and others) not began to include Gentiles.  What if they had allowed the telling of the Jesus story to remain an in-house exchange of how those already a part of the group talked among themselves?

We face a similar question today.  As the Church seeks to understand its role in the world, do we talk among ourselves?  Defining who has a voice and vote before we start a discussion about the mission of the Church and its next steps?

We believe and teach that the Word of God shapes those who hear it and the Church which bears witness to that Word.  Listening and opening the circle lead to great things in Antioch.  Maybe doing the same will lead to great things for the Church in our time.

No comments:

Post a Comment