The Great Debate About the Inclusion of the Gentiles

This meditation is based on a passage for September 9, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Acts 15:1-11

Reflection and Question: A constant theme in the New Testament is the extension of the Gospel beyond the Jews to include all people. One of the most dramatic scenes related to this tension is this section of Acts where Paul and Barnabas come to Jerusalem to receive direction about whether Gentiles should be required to obey Jewish law. Peter weighs in here, asking the challenging question, “Why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of these disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we are able to bear?” How is our requirement of chastity for LGBT people a test of God as well?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, You filled the hearts of Jews and Gentiles when they heard of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and they became one in Christ. Fill our hearts today, washing away the distinction between gay and straight. Make us one in Christ. Amen.