Thursday, September 22, 2011

Accept One Another

Wherefore receive ye one another, according as the Christ also has received you to [the] glory of God.  -- Romans !5:7 (Darby)
In older English there was a term that we don't often hear so much today.  When company came to your house you could say "We are receiving guests."  This would be synonymous today with accepting or entertaining or welcoming.  The NIV translation, in fact, uses the word accept in this passage.

Paul was a strong believer in sincere hospitality to and acceptance of everyone. Feelings of racial or ethnic superiority have always been a human temptation, yet the Apostle Paul stepped out of his life space of supervising blatant anti-Christian slaughter when he met Christ on the Road to Damascus.  His encounter with the Risen Christ who welcomed even the likes of the murdering Saul transformed Saul to the Paul who we know to be one of Christiandom's most accepting advocates for expanding the boundaries of The Church the world has ever known.

If Christ can accept Saul/Paul, who so violently persecuted Christians then Paul should know of what he speaks when he tells the Roman church to welcome one another as Christ welcomed him (and you.)  Christ knows and loves you strictly for the you only God can see.  Everything you do, everything you feel whether good, bad, ugly, or indifferent does not register in the reception Christ prepares hourly for you... just the you as you were born.  Paul's advice is to strive to accept the people you come across in the same way.  What an assignment!  Good luck and Godspeed!

Light of God, blind us to all of our prejudices so that we can both experience Your foundational love for us, as well as for the persons we meet everywhere we go today.  In Christ's name, Amen. 

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