Week 4 of a six-week series called Expanding the Table. In this episode, we begin exploring the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. In less than 150 verses, Paul talks about themes such as freedom and faith, gospel and law, Spirit and ethics. Today, our theology, our study about God and who God is and what God does, comes from this letter. It is from this letter that we come to understand justification by faith, the identity and character of the people of God, and the responsible use of freedom. This epistle, or letter, contains some of the strongest statements about the equality of females and males in the New Testament. Paul begins his letter talking about his own faith journey and relationship with Jesus. He does so not that his faith journey is to be imitated exactly, but that we all have a journey in faith in which we experience Jesus’ grace just like Paul did. Paul, in this letter, focuses on what it means to be a follower of Jesus and the requirements necessary. According to Paul, being a follower of Jesus is about being grasped by Jesus’ grace and love and then pouring that same love and grace into this world. How are you doing that in your life?
In this six-week series, we look at how the followers of Jesus after his crucifixion went from disciples to apostles. Jesus instructed them that they were to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. But this commission wasn't as easy as they anticipated. Conflict arose with the growing numbers of followers. They had to figure out how to be a gathered community of Jesus across the world. They had to discover what it means to expand the table. Being a follower of Jesus no longer meant that you came from a certain people, place, or nation.