Fifth of six-week series called Expanding the Table. In this episode, we continue exploring Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. The Apostle Paul begins this chapter with “You foolish Galatians!” Why? And he also writes to them about being descendants of Abraham despite being Gentiles by birth. What is Paul getting at? Why is it important for Paul to relay this message to the Galatians? The Apostles, evangelists and church elders were discussing at the time about who could be a follower of Jesus. So Paul asks fundamental questions today, such as “Who makes up the people of God?” and “What is the prime feature identifying such people?” Paul says it is not by circumcision, but by faith and how we live out that faith in the world. National, ethnic, gender, and economic considerations no longer count as a criterion for being include as part of God’s people. Paul then presents a different criterion for determining who constitutes the people of God. The door is wide open, and the table is expanded. And we explore what does it mean to “put on Christ.” What do those words mean to you? How are you experiencing these words from Paul to the Galatians and to us today.
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.