The Early Church was not perfect. They face their first issue threatening to fracture the community, discrimination. Discrimination rises in all groups. Groups form over perceived differences. In this case, the Grecian-Jewish widows are being overlooked. How the Early Church responds turns a threat into a strength.
First, they take it seriously and soberly. They take it seriously and do not dismiss the discontent. They take it soberly by not losing sight of their purpose, witnessing to the resurrection.
Secondly, they seek spiritual leadership. Though food distribution involves management, at the core it is a spiritual issue. They select people who are committed to justice out of their spiritual life and not out of pragmatism.
Thirdly, they empower the weaker. All seven deacons are Grecian-Jews, those who until then had no official leadership.
Lastly, they pray. Though this conflict first threatened the community, through spiritual sharing of leadership, the conflict strengthens the community. When the church turns discrimination into diversity, the becomes stronger and a greater voice of justice in the society.
- Any discriminations you experienced in the society? In the church? How did you respond?
- -Any discriminations in New Life? Any potential areas of discrimination?
- -Any prejudices in your heart? How will you bring it to the Lord this week?
“Lord, make New Life a more just community reflecting your heart for all.”