My reading is currently in Galatians. The reading in Galatians 2 again highlights what I’ve been drawn to in my overall Scripture reading: what IS and what is NOT included in “being a follower of Christ.”
Paul is defending his call as apostle to the Galatians and how he battled the circumcisers. He reiterates his call and the gospel he received and then the confirmation he received from some of the apostles. There is an interesting ending to this episode with the Jerusalem church leaders.
Paul says, “They asked only one thing…”
It wasn’t, “Pray the Lord’s Prayer regularly.”
It wasn’t, “Remember the core doctrines of our faith.”
It was remember the poor.
The one thing they asked of Paul was not about doctrine. It was about action. It was to say, “This is what Jesus showed us. We need you to do the same. Remember the poor.”
The deepest connection the apostles in Jerusalem could have with Paul was concerning the marginalized in their world. This was the deepest connection Jesus had with their world. Go and do the same.
They drilled down on Paul with the issue of circumcision and how to treat Gentiles. They certainly drilled down on how Paul would have viewed them in light of his actions before the Damascus road experience. But at the end, they ask one thing: remember the poor.
How we act with the marginalized people of our world is THE key. It is THE marker. It is the most Jesus thing to do.
This is the challenge I am constantly face with as I read Scriptures in these past few months. It was something Paul says, “I was eager to do.” Am I?