A Legacy of Acceptance from Our Daily Bread
May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other - each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. And then all of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified. Remember that Jesus Christ came to show that God is true to his promises and to help the Jews. and remember that he came also that the Gentiles might be saved and give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the Psalmist meant when he wrote: "I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name."
And in another place, "Be glad, O you Gentiles, along with his peo0ple the Jews."
And yet again, "Praise the Lord, O you Gentiles, let everyone praise him."
And the prophet Isaiah said, "There shall be an Heir in the house of Jesse, and he will be King over the gentiles, they will pin their hopes on him alone."
So I pray for you Gentiles that God who gives you hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in him through the Holy Spirit's power within you. Romans 15: 5-13 (TLB)
A Legacy of Acceptance by Arthur Jackson
In his book, Breaking Down Walls, Glen Kehrein writes about climbing to the roof of his college dorm in Chicago after the assassination of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. "The sound of gunfire bounced eerily back and forth off the large buildings, and soon my rooftop perch provided a near panoramic, yet horrific, view.... How in the world did I get from a Wisconsin cornfield to a war zone in the inner city of Chicago in less than two years?" Compelled by his love for Jesus and people whose backgrounds were different from his, Glen lived on Chicago's West Side and led a ministry there that provided food, clothing, shelter, and other services until his death in 2011.
Glen's life mirrors the efforts of believers in Jesus who've come to grips with the need to embrace those who are different from themselves. Paul's teaching and example helped Roman believers see that God's plan to rescue wayward humanity included Jews and gentiles (Romans 15: -12). Believers are called to follow His example of acceptance of others (v.7); prejudice and discord have no place among those called to glorify God with "one mind and one voice" (v.6). Ask God to help you cross barriers and break down walls and to warmly embrace everyone, regardless of their differences. Let's strive to leave behind a legacy of acceptance.
How can you be more intentional with people who are different from you? What steps do you need to take to be more in line with Jesus' embrace of all people?
Prayer: Father in heaven, help me to represent You and make adjustments in my thinking and actions today as I strive to love others well, in Jesus' name, amen