for it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” Romans 14:11 NABRE
In this section of the letter to the community at Rome, Paul is trying to reconcile two factions in the community. Paul refers to a group as the “strong;” they do not adhere to Jewish dietary ritual or the days of the calendar. The others referred to as the “weak” avoid eating meat and drinking wine and follow a calendar that regards some days more important than others. Paul is not taking a position on one side or the other, he wants the two groups to respect and love one another. We can infer that Paul does not desire special rituals when it comes to eating, and following the calendar, whatever we do in this regard is to help ourselves remain close to the Lord. But what does matter in community is how we treat one another. Despite how we think of another’s point of view, we should respect them and hear them. Paul stresses this point by quoting from Isaiah; “By myself I swear, uttering my just decree, a word that will not return: To me every knee shall bend;” (45:23) Paul is indicating we will all stand judgement before Christ, assigned judge by God. In that moment we will recognize His divinity and kneel with praise. We will also give account of ourselves and in so doing should have a good story to tell about our relationship with others, our respect and love for those that we might never agree with personally.
We see this quite clearly in our politics today, we pick a side and point our finger at the other side as being wrong, idiotic and helplessly lost. We let our leaders divide us rather than unite us. If we follow Christ, we mustn’t behave in this manner. We will kneel before the Lord and give an account.
Do you respect those with whom you disagree? Do you listen to others?We see division clearly in our politics today, we pick a side and point our finger at the other side as being wrong, idiotic and helplessly lost. We let our leaders divide us rather than unite us. If we follow Christ, we mustn't behave in this manner. Click To Tweet
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