URC Daily Devotion 30th September 2019

In his book, Being Disciples, Rowan Williams writes of what Christian faith and discipleship can offer Western society, where everything is a matter of personal preference and my human rights are paramount.  He describes 2 principles: firstly, we are each of equal value to God, and secondly, we are all dependent on one another.  These principles are consistent with this passage.
As we are each of equal value to God, and as God loves each one of us, then we need to love one another and help each other.  If I make someone struggle in their faith by the way I live, I am not showing love to that person. Paul speaks of food and drink, and today’s stumbling blocks might also include other matters, such as styles of worship or how we dress in church.  To build up our church community, we need to think of our brothers and sisters and how our behaviour affects their conscience – so if we visit a church where shoulders are expected to be covered, we should cover our shoulders, even if we are convinced that Jesus has no objections to bare shoulders.
We are dependant on one another for mutual support – for both giving and receiving, so that we are constantly building each other up in our faith, and setting each other free to respond to God’s calling, rather than putting stumbling blocks in each other’s way by judging others’ behaviour unfavourably.  We are not the ones to set standards of ‘holiness’ for ourselves or others – we need to leave the judging to God. 
As we walk the way, we need to consider not just our own journey, but also how our journey impacts on the journeys of others, so that together we grow as followers of Jesus.