22 May 2022 6th Sunday of Easter
For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.’
From Acts 15:1-2,22-29, NRSV
On this Sunday, we hear from the same readings we heard earlier in this week. Perhaps this repetition serves to underline the importance of the decision that was reached about how Gentiles were be accepted as members of the new Christian communities. The Church at Jerusalem had an important issue to consider. Many of the Jews who had chosen to join the Church also maintained their observance of the Jewish Law. They were unhappy that Gentiles were becoming members of the Church without accepting the “Law of Moses”, particularly with regard to circumcision. Paul and Barnabas, to whom this concern was made know, had the wisdom to bring the matter to the apostles and elders of the Church in Jerusalem. The opinions of all were considered and a decision was reached under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This decision gave some recognition to the feelings of the Judeo Christians and provided ways in which both Jews and Gentiles could begin to establish fellowship. Above all, the decision that was reached established that Christianity was for all.
- Why was it necessary to resolve this dispute?
- How can we ensure that decisions taken in our Church communities are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit on any decisions you are called to make today.