Epiphany 5, Monday, Year B

Inspired by Acts 14:1-7 

“The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Greeks became believers. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” Acts 14:1-2 (NRSV) 

We know the way of Christ is right. We know that following the Lord will please God as well as provide for a life of justice and peace on this earth.

But there are many opinions about what is ‘right,’ and the way of Christ threatens the perceived peace, prosperity, and even identity of others, so some will refuse to hear the truth, and they will poison the minds of others to prevent the truth from being spread. Most of the time they believe they’re actually defending the truth from the lies and fantasies of Christians. Such has it been since the earliest days of the Church, and so it continues today.

Ultimately we cannot make people believe the truth, and we’re certainly not called to force others to live according to Christian principles expecting that belief will follow. All we are called to do is to live and preach the gospel. Sometimes great numbers of people will become believers, other times we’ll be soundly rejected. Either way, our obedience to the Lord will enable us to live free in the truth.

Let us pray. Lord of all, you have sent us to proclaim your gospel. Free us from pride and arrogance, that we may demonstrate your grace in the face of rejection and betrayal. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.