Perhaps this biblical story of the Jerusalem Council – this argument over the basic claims of the gospel – is more relevant to our time than we might think at first. The debate over accepting the Gentiles into the early Christian church gives us some helpful tools for engaging in dialogue over change in the church today.
Hear this Church, we need to stop trying to limit who can receive the Good News – who can be welcomed into the body of Christ. It is our calling to preach and teach the good news, and then to rejoice in celebration and welcome all who proclaim that Christ is Lord.
The power of Christ and the work of the Church is a threat to societal powers – whether political or institutional. The power of Christ is a threat to any individual who seeks wealth and power for themselves, especially at the expense of others. The Church today needs to reclaim the early church’s prayer for boldness in proclaiming this power-threatening truth.