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Only one thing

Only one thing

Something to read

…when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.

- Galatians 2:9-10.

Something to think about

As Paul continues to tell his story of first steps in Christian faith and ministry, his relationships with other Christian leaders become an important focus. The church in Jerusalem was headed up by some of the disciples who had been with Jesus while he was on earth, and it was assumed they had a unique authority because of their proximity to him.

What the existing leaders, and newcomer Paul, had to navigate between them was recognition of the different but complementary calling Paul had received in being sent to minister to the Gentiles. 

Christian vocations are varied, and we each have a different emphasis in living out our faith. There are those who focus on local community outreach, those who campaign on important justice issues in this country, and those who focus their efforts on supporting a particular country or region of the world.

If we learn from Paul and the Jerusalem leaders, two things should be common among us. Our commitment to unity with one another – that’s what the right hand of fellowship is about – and our commitment to those experiencing poverty. What a helpful perspective they offer on what is essential to any Christian ministry.

Something to do

Use an online (or paper!) map to look at all the churches in your local area. How many have you heard of? How many is your church connected to? Pray for them and their ministry, and especially that they would be committed to the fight against poverty.

Something to pray

Jesus, thank you for your love for you whole church, and your prayer that we might all be one. Help me and my church, and every Christian community around me, to be united around what’s really important and relax about the rest. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones