Friday, December 13th

By: Bill Smith
Romans 15:2-13
Reflection—v.6 ‘with one mind and one voice’

My Daddy was one of those people who hated a braggart. He hated when people would say ‘I’m doing this-and-so better than someone else.’ I could name my accomplishments, say for example, ‘I did this thing,’ but if I were to say ‘I’m better than someone else’…not in his household! His point was that someone else might be better at something than you–so none of us are really better than any others. Earlier in Chapter 15 it says ‘Let every one of us please our neighbors for their good edification…’ I understand this to mean that we’re supposed to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That is what Christ taught, and that is what Paul is reminding us here. I think sometimes the church particularly views those who are on the margins as less than, when actually, it’s been my experience that those on the margins have more than enough to offer. Take for example a random Bible Study here at Mercy—people here have a lot of wisdom and insight. Sometimes this comes from hard living on the margins. That’s where some of the most fruitful study comes from. This passage goes on to say that we must have but one mind and one mouth to glorify God. We must treat each other as God does. God says we’re beloved. God says we’re of value and when we think of ourselves as better than others, we’re not treating that person as valuable–we’re lowering them. That’s not how we should treat each other in God’s household.

Prayer: Beloved Creator, help us to see our neighbors and value them as you do.

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