Diversity And Love (Romans 16)
We see the early churches putting righteousness before worldly things.
It might be easy to skip over the long list of names that Paul lists in Romans 16 and wonder why Paul would be simply greeting a bunch of people. I admit that I have always just skimmed through this passage and not put much thought into it. But after unpacking this text I learned that Paul was addressing people of both genders and with diverse social, ethnic and religious background. This diverse group of people was unified in Christ and working toward the same goal: to further the Gospel of Christ. We see Paul’s heartfelt love for these people as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Today, churches of different denominations get hung up on their own agendas instead of working as one to further the kingdom of God. But this is not the example Paul gave us. We see in Romans 16 the early churches putting righteousness before worldly things.
Paul gave us a good example to encourage one another in love and to be unified in Christ as believers even though we all come from different places. God made us all to have different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences in life. We glorify him when we live in unity with those differences, not use them to divide and separate us.