Monday, August 26, 2013

bearing gifts

Good afternoon friends,
In today's reading Paul continues his thoughts about his coming visit to Jerusalem. When Paul and Barnabas were first commissioned to minister to the gentiles, they are encouraged to contribute to the needs of the poor Christians in Jerusalem. Raising contributions for that ministry is a frequent subject of Paul's letters to churches. Like here, he believes that since gentiles in some ways owe their faith to the church, which was originally Jewish, they should help the original community of believers in other ways. For him the contribution to Jerusalem is a sign of his loyalty to the faith and his continuing connection with the first apostles.

God bless,

Romans 15:25-33
25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints; 26for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things. 28So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will set out by way of you to Spain; 29and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

30I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf, 31that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.

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