Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it, especially if it causes trouble for others."

The appointed Epistle reading for today is taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans:
Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Rm. 14:13-23).
There are many in the Body of Christ, the Church.  Some have a strong faith, others not so strong.  Some of the Christians in Paul’s day had scruples about eating meat and about drinking wine.  Paul regards these scruples as unnecessary; however, he says that those who do not have these scruples should not pass judgment on those who may have them.  Rather, Paul tells the Romans, “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it, especially if it causes trouble for others.”  Our right to do something must take second place to our obligation not to destroy the work of God by making our brother or sister stumble.
Let us pray:  O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Idell Guidry’s funeral will be this Friday, 25 July, at 10:00 A.M. at St. Augustine of Hippo followed by internment at the cemetery and thereafter returning to St. Augustine’s for a catered reception in Sutton Hall.
ALBERT GREEN’S FUNERAL WILL BE SATURDAY, 11:00 A.M. At the E.R. Johnson Funeral home on 3828 Avenue O, Galveston, TeXas 77550.
The Art of Listening: Summer Art Program, starts today, Monday, 21 July at 10 A.M. every day of the week until 1 P.M.
Please sign up to make Sunday Breakfast during the summer!
In view of the current happenings in the Middle East and in Africa, as part of our Adult Christian Education, we will read Focus on Islam to better understand Islam and to do a comparison and contrast with our Christian faith.  We have the books, so if you are interested, please check with Fr. Chester for a copy of the book so that you can start reading it.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski, Vicar
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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