Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Middle Ground

"Some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, 'It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.'”  Acts 15:6

Finding a middle ground between two very different view points can be very difficult. We have only to look at our Congress these days to know this. Without denigrating people on either side of the political divide, we all realize that the Congress has to do something in order to keep the government functioning and vital. While everyone realizes that we elect people to govern us so that they can find a path that helps everyone equally, the attainment of this goal is never easy.

The first disciples of Jesus experienced this. Wanting to welcome Gentiles and traditional Jews to the Way of Jesus, they worked hard to interpret Jesus' teaching in a manner that would allow Jews to understand Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law, and Gentiles to enter the church without having to become Jews, but their efforts were never completely successful. Like many today, they wanted both to cling to the mores with which they grew up, and join the body of Christ without losing their identity.

In the twentieth first century the disciples of Jesus continue to search for ways to accept and benefit from the new  digital technology while not letting go of our basic values. How we use the internet and social media to announce the Good News without reducing the message of Jesus to tweet or three is a challenge and an opportunity upon which the health of the church rests. Remembering that following Jesus has always demanded careful thought and discernment can help.

Today, ask yourself whether you are clinging to the past for your own comfort or as a witness to the power of Jesus.

Whose wisdom has helped you discern difficult personal and family challenges?

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