“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3: 26-28
Pastor John Ortberg concludes Chapter 3 of Who is This Man? by noting that slavery was universal in the ancient world, an equal opportunity devaluer. Roman law considered a slave non habeas personam– literally “not having a person” or, even more demeaning, “not having a face”.
As the author wryly observes, the early church changed the seating chart. An early church order, the Didascalia Apostolorum, instructed bishops not to interrupt a worship service to greet a wealthy person who came late. On the other hand, if a poor man or woman entered the congregation, the bishop was to do whatever was necessary to welcome them, even if the bishop wound up sitting on the floor!
Yet Christianity often falls short in the compassion department. The response or nonresponse of friends and former colleagues, as well as the “manner” in which our vocational loss was delivered, may well attest to a decided lack of compassion. That’s why it is essential to walk with Jesus as we journey toward revisioning and revitalization of our calling.
Today’s question: Following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, have former colleagues treated you as one “not having a face”? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God’s adoption policy”