Within the community of the Christian Church, it is somewhat of a rarity for us to encounter someone whose ethic roots are Jewish. So much so, that we might be inclined to refer to them as a "Jewish Christian." Yet, the witness of Christian scripture is of a long and difficult admission process for those who were not Jewish.
This morning I read from Acts 10. This is the account of Peter's vision in which he is told by God, "What God has cleansed, you must not call common." You would think that such a vision and visit from God would be enough for anyone. But we are told that the vision came to Peter three times - three times - before he was ready to accept it, or embrace it.
We, non-Jewish followers of Jesus, are grafted onto the tree. We are additions.
I am not trying to create a feeling of instability, rather one of gratefulness. We assume that we are "entitled" to belong. We forget that our inclusion came at a great price.
In Luther's Small Catechism, second article to the Creed, Luther reminds us, "At great cost (Jesus the Christ) has saved and redeemed me, a lost and condemned person. He has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil - not with silver or gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death."
We should not take our salvation for granted. It is right and proper that we would express our gratitude and appreciation to God for admitting us to the community which bears his name.