After the Council of Jerusalem had come to a conclusion (see posts of 5/6&7), the leaders wrote a letter to “all the brothers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia of Gentile origin” to tell them that “it is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities” which consisted only of dietary rules and those concerning unlawful marriage. In order that the message would be clearly communicated to everyone in the same manner, they sent representatives to the communities to deliver the letter. Thus the discernment was completed and a new era began which opened up the possibility for anyone to become Christian regardless of their former affiliation or way of life.
Coincidentally (perhaps) the gospel reading for this morning (John 15:12-17) includes the following: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” May our prayer for today be one of wideness of heart so that difference need not mean disunity and that we may come to embrace all others for the sake of love.