The Always-Fitting Word of God
by Kirsten Patterson
July 28, 2021
On Sunday, June 13, 2021, the President and First Lady of the United States attended Sunday services at Sacred Heart Church, St. Ives in Cornwall. The two were in town for the G7 Summit in which talks among world leaders centered in part around concern over global warming and care for the planet. Father Philip Dyson had not been given advance notice of his prestigious guests and, according to The Guardian, “admitted he was slightly nervous while conducting the service.” He noted, however, that the “Scripture readings were appropriate because it was about creation and climate, and things growing, and so it absolutely suited the occasion.” He concluded, “It’s just the way it always is. The Word of God always fits in.”*
This was funny to me when I read it in June, because I was having my own “the Word of God always fits in” moment reading through Romans in preparation for our Women’s Bible Studies this fall. Paul says in Romans 14:2-3 something like this:
One person’s faith allows them to wear a mask, but another person’s does not. The one who wears a mask must not treat with contempt the one who does not wear a mask, and the one who does not wear a mask must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
Do you see my winking emoticon here? Paul is actually writing to believers in the fledgling house churches in Rome who are disagreeing over dietary restrictions and the necessity of following the Old Testament Law (not precisely the wearing of face masks during a pandemic, but still . . . ). These two groups are convinced that their very faith and salvation are in jeopardy, and as a result they are not disagreeing nicely. They are judging and excluding and disdaining and refusing to bend. The parallels to some of our strong feelings on current issues aren’t too hard to see, are they?
What will Paul say to these two groups in conflict? Will the churches in Rome survive and is Paul’s solution relevant for us in our world today?
If you want to know the answer, you’ll have to read the book! [🤣 Rolling on Floor Laughing emoji]
Come join us this fall in any one of our Women’s Bible Studies as we study the book of Romans and explore what God’s Word has to say to us today. We have a seat saved just for you!
Kirsten is a wife, mom, dog owner, reader, coffee-drinker and MasterPiece theater watcher. Hence, Cornwall is and always will be the windswept land of Ross Poldark.