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Daily Devotionals

Day 31 – Issue 40

todayMay 1, 2015 9

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Be Still Know

Romans 16.3-5 NLT

‘Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.’

This final chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans contains greetings to a number of specific people, and this gives us a fascinating window on the early church. We find that the Roman church was incredibly diverse in terms of race, social rank and gender. We can see in the following verses that it was composed of people from a Jewish and Gentile background. Some of the people have names that were common amongst slaves but alongside them we meet people like Aristobulus who, many scholars suggest, was the grandson of Herod the Great and friend of the Emperor Claudius. Particularly notable is the fact that of the 26 people named, nine of them were women.

It’s also interesting to note that six of these women are described in terms of their ministry whereas only three of the men are described in this way, and two of them ministered alongside their female partners. These verses reveal how generously inclusive the early church was.

Paul’s conviction was that in Christ all human divisions came crashing to the ground. In Galatians 3.28 he wrote, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Our society, like Paul’s, is full of divisions between people. We erect walls along lines of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, wealth, health and education to name but a few. When we become Christians, we don’t suddenly lose an awareness of these distinctions because they are so hard-wired into the thinking and life of our society. But when we join Christ’s church we come into a transformed community. This is no easy task but, in the power of the Holy Spirit, it is miraculously possible.

Question: Is your church truly welcoming to every kind of person?

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you the miracle of your church. Help me to reflect your love and welcome to everyone. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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