Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
As we enter into a new week, please consider an alternative reading and reflection schedule. I encourage you to read fully the story of Joseph reuniting with his brothers from Genesis 43-45 over the next three days. Remember, Joseph's brothers had sold him to merchants out of jealousy and told their father that he had been killed by wild animals. They could never have imagined that Joseph would rise to the highest offices in Egypt. Dressed as an Egyptian, the brothers did not recognize him as he asked about his father and his youngest brother. Follow this drama this week. We will reflect upon it Thursday.
The Council in Jerusalem from Acts 15 is a pivotal moment in the Christian church. The Apostles, including Paul, were witnessing the power of the Gospel at work in the world. Large numbers of conversions followed the work of the evangelists sharing the Word in the world. Many were Gentiles - those who were not Jewish and were not circumcised. The tradition and law held circumcision to be the sign of the covenant. One faction argued that the law is the law, and new converts must undergo circumcision. Another group argued that circumcision was not necessary. Not only would it dissuade people from following Christ, but it also ignored how God was still speaking to the people. Rather than stick to rules and regulations that excluded people from faith in Christ, the Council in Jerusalem decided to welcome in all the people of the world. The decision was to Draw the Circle Wide. And that work continues today.
What are your thoughts about the issues that tend to divide the church today? How might God be at work to bring the good news to more people? What are the hardest things about doing things in a new way?