Meditation on Acts 15:1-11

“One of Them” A self Portrait, Paper Cutout, Phillip Schwartz


“My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”


So often it comes down to them and us. It may be Gentile and Jew, gay and straight, black and white or conservative and liberal; we are always finding ways to label groups of people who are not us. In God’s eyes we are all us, but as a Jew and a convert and a gay man of faith, I find that I am a ‘them’ more often than I am an ‘us’. God loves all of us as we are, no matter who we are. Perhaps it’s time that we try that as well.

Phillip Schwartz


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