Date: Tuesday, February 11
Scripture: Romans 11:11-24
Verse: If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy. (Romans 11:16)
For years we have seen advertising telling us a product is “new and improved.” In our age of technology, we know new versions of our mobile phones, laptops, and tablets are being produced every 6 months or so. Books get revisions. Websites are updated. In order to have the best, we assume we want the newest. But in order to appreciate what we have, we often need to know from where it has come. For example, did you know “the computers used to guide the Apollo 11 mission to the moon were no more powerful than a pocket calculator or a mobile phone” (Computer Weekly Editor’s Blog)? Maybe that will make you appreciate the annoying device in your pocket a bit more.
In today’s reading, Paul is talking to the non-Jewish Christians in Rome who may have been feeling superior to their Jewish and Jewish-Christian neighbors because they are the newest model. He reminds them of the importance of the history to have allowed them to participate in what God is doing in the world. They cannot simply dismiss the past. Jesus didn’t appear out of nowhere to welcome them in. He is part of a long history of God in relationship with people.
We too need to recover a sense of history – from a better understanding of the Old Testament, to a sense of what the church has been up to for the past 2,000 years. We cannot assume faith started here in the 21st century. We have a lot to learn from people of faith who have gone before us – from grandmothers and grandfathers, to those who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago.
Prayer: Thank you God, for allowing me to stand in a long line of those who have known you. Amen.
Action: Research an historical figure in the faith: John Wesley, Martin Luther, Teresa of Avila, Justin Martyr, Origen, or some saint you have always wanted to know more about.
Respond: With what historical figure would you most like to have dinner? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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