A Community of Misfits on a Mission

The Household of Christ

In chapters 14 and 15, the apostle Paul/Saul directly addresses the conflict between factions in the house churches of Rome. Namely, he points out that there is division among them along cultural and ethnic lines after the Jewish disciples who were expelled from Rome begin returning only to find a gentile-dominated church that no longer feels like home. The factions, which Beverly Roberts Gaventa lovingly refers to as the “lettuce-eaters” and the “garbage-bellies,” are deriving their identities from sources other than being in Christ. So Paul calls them back to being part of an alternative home—the Household of Christ. Because the household to whom you belong will define your identity and your way of life. Being members of Christ’s household makes the two factions one family. A lot more hangs on whether these factions can love one another than whether or not there’s shrimp scampi for dinner!