Community: Challenges to Togetherness | Acts 6:1
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
The church was off and running. But just as the new community shifted into third, revving up for fourth…it hit big bump in the road. A public grievance packed with insinuation forced the believers to downshift and address an emotional issue.
The believing Jews who had been born in lands other than Israel and had accepted the Greek culture (Grecian Jews), complained that the widows of the Jews who had been born in Israel and held to Jewish culture and customs (Hebraic Jews) were receiving a daily distribution of food, while their widows were being overlooked. This was not just about food. Under the surface lay hidden issues of power, control, care, acceptance, and prejudice. Thankfully, the Apostles handed the situation with love and discernment (see Acts 6:2-7).
The New Testament is clear that we must accept one another (Romans 12:16, 14:1, 15:5-7). When I accept a person, I must accept them for who they are; not who I want them to be. And I have to accept them for who they are at that moment; not for who I want them to become. We must “accept one another…just as Christ accepted [us], in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 5:7). Acceptance is a great concept, isn’t it? Until…we have to actually put it into practice.
Father, there are so many things we know but are not willing to do. Help us be believers who accept one another, just as your Son accepted us. Help us to bring praise to you by our obedience. In Jesus’ name. Amen.