Week of: September 13, 2020
Scripture: Romans 14:1-12
Welcome the person who is weak in faith – but not in order to argue about differences of opinion ... Why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister? We all will stand in front of the judgment seat of God.
(Romans 14:1, 10, CEB)
Most of us have unlimited access to one another's opinions via social media, and there's the constant barrage of opinions coming through every news source related to health, politics, race, religion, and so on. Reinforcing it all are messages like, "Make your voice heard!" and "Your opinion matters!"
So, whose opinion wins out? To whom do we listen? Is it the loudest voice? The most popular opinion? The one that sounds closest to ours? What about the voices and opinions that go unheard? The ones that never get a hearing? Are they any less important, less valid?
Paul, in this passage from Romans, is talking to the church about judging and being judged, but ultimately it is about deciding who belongs at the table. How does Paul answer? All who confess Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead belong in the same worshipping family and at the same table.
So how do we get everyone to the same table? Right now, more importantly than sharing our opinions, we should be sharing our stories with one another. People who know one another's stories are more likely to feel connected to each other, and people who feel connected are more willing to sit together at the same table.
Bind us together, Lord, with cords that cannot be broken. Amen.
Financial and Personnel Coordinator, The Fellowship
Minister of Music and Worship, Emmanuel United Methodist Church