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Lenten Devotional: Mar. 10

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Today’s texts: Genesis 45:16-28; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 6:13-29

Food Sacrificed to Idols (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

One of the memories I have growing up was seeing an ancestral altar at my grandfather’s apartment in San Francisco.  He had it on a wall in one corner of the living room.  I’ve seen these altars in Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and stores.

What makes this not typical though, is that my grandfather went to a Christian church regularly.  I could not understand how my grandfather who said he was a Christian could also have an ancestral altar.

That’s why I love this explanation Paul gives in 1 Corinthians.

There is no reason why Christians can or cannot eat foods sacrificed to idols.  Eating these foods will not affect their belief in Jesus Christ.

I believe my grandfather, who became a Christian later in life, saw his ancestral altar as his duty and his culture. Fortunately his actions did not affect my own faith. But that is precisely the problem Paul raises.

If our knowledge and freedom, affects others negatively, then it is better not to act on this knowledge and freedom.

During Lent, ask ourselves, what are we doing that are potential stumbling blocks to others and may affect the faith of others in a negative way. It will probably not be ancestral altars, but we all have something we do that can affect others. Whatever it is, ask Christ to help us limit or stop what we are doing so that we will not become a stumbling block to others and sin against them.

* * * * *

Katie Choy WongRev. Kathryn Choy-Wong is pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship in Castro Valley, California. In December she will be celebrating her 30 years as an ordained minister!

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