Scripture: Paul wrote, “Let us therefore make every
effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Romans 14:19,
Woe to pedestrians
who traverse uneven pavement! The Romans, who contributed the word for foot
travel, tried their best to build perfect roads.
Alas! Neither then or now do roads stay perfectly flat, and a block that
projects above its neighbors is destined to catch the toe of those of us
who walk upright on two pedes - er, feet. It becomes a stumbling block.
The writers of the Bible were well aware of the stumbling
block, and often used the expression as an example of obstacles in our walk
with God/Jesus. Paul speaks of stumbling in his letter to the Romans, 14:13.
He is speaking to Christians, there! A Christian as a stumbling block?
Oh! Yes, read Romans 14, and learn what Paul was finding in the churches.
He is writing specifically about eating practices, what was acceptable and
what was not. Read between the lines a little. Consider 14:10. Judging others
is a tricky business; the Lord will be the ultimate judge of us all.
Yet judge we do. Special practices; sacred do’s and
don’ts. Thy way and my way make for an uneven pavement
for another trying to follow us. The topic of church
attendance came up at our Bible study. It seems that not everyone who is
asked to come to church with us is willing to do so. Why not? What can we
do or say that will bring in the lost, the lonely, and the seekers. Let’s
face it - every institution of worship should be filled! We should not have
to drag people to church. They should be so desirous of filling their souls
with God that our world would be bubbling with righteousness, peace and joy
in the Holy Spirit. (Ro. 14:17b).
Is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
what people see and think when they see us; our/the ‘church’? If not,
then are we a stumbling block? Sure sounds that way, to read about stumbling
blocks in the Bible.
Check out Isaiah 8:11-17. Here, God is a stumbling
We are “Resurrection People” if we believe the
message of Easter. Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, became the ultimate sacrifice
for our sins, each and every one in the whole world.
He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. Resurrection!
Do you believe that? Many believe in Jesus, but not
in the Resurrection. It has become their stumbling block.
We’ve heard the call:
Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. (Mk. 1:3)
Be on the lookout for stumbling blocks. Neither create them, nor allow
them to remain as a trap that others might stumble.
March 3, 2002
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