Rom. 14:13-23 – A tale about helping your fellow travler
Some years back, it seems like ages ago, we had dinner at my parents house, and as it was customary for my father, he brought out wine and beer to compliment the epic meal. One of the guest that evening, which later we find out had a no drinking policy, asked a very strange question: How does that glass of beer taste? Does it taste as good as I remember?
The reason I share this story with you today, is because time and time again, I have found that my own so called christian liberties or interpretations, had carried something more than just good intentions; they carried a sense of careless, a sense of misunderstanding someone else’s troubles and weaknesses. I am sure that as you read Romans, you will quickly come to the conclusion that Paul does not speak about food or drink, but rather he speaks about who we are as people and the way we conduct our lives. This is about walking along side, and yes I am conscious I use that parable often, it is about sharing with your fellow travelers your life, the good and the bad, the things that make you strong or weak, but even more than that is about sharing how God is working in those very moments in your life.
As we read: Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. – we read about the call we are called to; to help build each other in a way that promotes God’s purpose. When it comes to christian life, we need to understand the relational nature of our walk, the many dependancies and ramifications that one’s words and deeds carries when it comes to those around. In the past weeks I had a few conversations on some of the decisions the PCUSA reached as a denomination this year. Some of those are stirring up a few controversies, and not only that but as believers we are affected by some of the ripples.
As I think about those conversations, I am reminded of this very passage we just read today. And I feel the need to pray for unity, for understanding, for peace and ultimately that the work that God has started in so many people’s lives will continue in a way that the kingdom of God will expand and Jesus ultimately be glorified.
As many of you, I do not have answers or solutions, but I am sure of one thing that I have: The power to pray that my own life and my own struggle will be used for the unity of the body of Christ and fellow travelers along the path will be edified by the things that God is doing and has done in my own life.