Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Romans 14:13-15:2 and Psalm 133
St. Paul writes that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (v. 16). He tells us that we should not be too worried about following the Mosaic laws on food, but that we also should not cause a brother or sister to stumble because of what we eat. If we have a guest to dinner whom we know doesn’t eat pork for religious reasons, we should not serve pork.
This is not so much of a problem these days. However, the principle is a good one. For instance, some people drink a little wine or beer because they enjoy the taste. Others drink because they like the “buzz” of alcohol. Still others choose not to drink at all. We should not judge those who drink moderately and safely. Those who regularly drink to excess should not be judged, but helped. If we are with someone who is a recovering alcoholic, we should be sensitive to that person’s needs and not drink an alcoholic beverage. However, those of us who choose not to drink should not judge those who do.
How else might Paul’s exhortation be applied? Have you judged others for doing or eating or drinking things that you chose not to do? Take a few moments to pray about this. Ask God to help you. Write your own prayer.