5 Easter Narrative Lectionary, Year C Acts 15:1-17 The disciples are determining the purpose of their congregation. Is it to make Gentiles (Greek, Roman, any non-Jewish believer) into Jews? Or is it to take people of all stripes who are prepared to act in the name of Jesus and to move forward and out in faith? The purpose might seem clear to us, but it was as fraught a discussion as we occasionally find in congregations and in denominations today. This is the first synod assembly (so to speak) recorded in the early church and they have real issues on their hands. They have to determine the boundaries of God’s grace and the marks of the recipients of that grace. They are trying to respect the traditions and history of those gathered, history that is part of how God’s work and presence in the world has been revealed. The disciples are also trying to understand the exponential pace at which the Spirit is bringing people into faith.