The worship bulletin, with announcements, for Sunday, May 14 is available online HERE.
The focus scripture is Acts 15:1-18.
The most common heading for this passage in many Bibles is ‘The Council in Jerusalem’. I nearly fell asleep just reading the heading!
But stuff is happening! Debates are raging! Controversy abounds!
Now that we are somewhat settled on the fact of the resurrection of Jesus by God; now that the Church is beginning to grow and spread– what does it mean to be a member? They weren’t talking about secret handshakes or anything, they weren’t even discussing the role or function of baptism.
Some were saying what they felt to be obvious– that Gentiles (non-Jews) would have to become adherents to the Law of Moses before they could become Christians. This includes male circumcision.
Others came to this Council with what they observed, and felt was just as obvious… people, Gentiles, were turning to Christianity purely on the basis of following the Way of Jesus.
Peter spoke: “Why…do you put God to the test by trying to place on the shoulders of these converts a yoke which neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?”
When the Spirit breathes upon us, as it did in the early church, you never know where you will end up.
Friends… we need to stop idolizing the ‘law’, the ‘way we’ve always done it’, and leave the weight of ‘tradition’ behind us… and allow God to breathe new life into this thing we call ‘Church’.