"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2 ESV
The text for today reminds me of Aesop's fable called The Ass and His Purchaser. A man wished to purchase an ass, and agreed with his owner that he should try him before he bought him. He took the ass home and put him in the straw-yard with the other asses, upon which he left all the others and joined himself at once to the idlest and the greatest eater of them all. The man put a halter on him and led him back to his owner; and on his inquiring how, in so short a time, he could have made a trial of him, "I do not need," he answered, "a trial; I know that he will be just such another as the one whom of all the rest he chose for his companion." The moral being, "A man is known by the company he keeps."
Today's scripture tells us we are not to let anyone come between us and our relationship with God. Who then should be our friends? What company should we keep? Should Christians only be friends with other Christians? We need only to look at Christ as our example. Granted, Jesus spent a lot of time with folks that were of the same religious background, but those were also the people with which he had the most disagreements. Instead, he willingly chose to spend time with tax collectors and sinners. His earthly mission was to bring salvation to all people, not just a select group. Only in ministering to those most unlike himself was the Good News spread. Following his example, we are to enjoy friendships with all kinds of people! In my opinion, the more different we are, the better. In getting to know those most unlike ourselves, we tear down the walls of "the other." We are likely to find those things that we thought separated us are for fewer than what we thought.
Precious Lord, we give thanks for the good friends we have and those we have not met yet. We give thanks for the opportunity to expand and grow in our understanding of those unlike ourselves. We acknowledge we are all your children and have more in common than what separates us. We ask for you to be with us as we go into the world to share the Good News of Christ with everyone we meet. Let us remember you are our God, and not allow anything, or anyone, come between us. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.
“The Ass and His Masters.” Aesop's Fable: The Ass and His Masters, aesopsfables.org/F140_The-Ass-and-His-Masters.html.