READ : Romans 15:22-33
Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. (v. 26)
It was an accident, but I knew my brother would be angry. I had bumped against the wing of his model airplane and crushed it. I felt bad, and the only way I could think of to let him know I was sorry was to offer to pay for new pieces and to help him make the repairs.
Does paying money solve problems and assuage anger? Not in and of itself, as we know all too well in our litigious society. But it can sometimes make a beginning in restoring a damaged relationship.
Paul lived in the context of a growing friction between the Jewish segment of the church and the Gentile segment. As the apostle to the Gentiles, he wanted to assure the Jewish Christians that his churches considered them brothers and sisters in Christ. Because many in the mother church in Jerusalem were impoverished, Paul organized a sizable offering for them in Macedonia and Achaia, and he was now going to deliver it to them personally.
According to Acts 21:17ff., Paul was warmly received in Jerusalem. While not all suspicions dissipated, this gift was one way to at least make a beginning.
Dear God, help me to take concrete steps to work for unity in the body of Christ. Amen.