October 31, 2017

Slicing and Choosing

October 31, 2017


Acts 6:1-7

This week’s sermon text: Romans 16:3-16

My mother-in-law had a clever way of solving disputes between her two children when it came time to divvy up the last pieces of cake or pie. She would say to them, “One of you slice, and the other one choose.” This helped the one slicing to be fair and prevented fussing and fighting.

The disciples came up with a similarly clever solution to a dispute about unfair treatment of some of the Greek-speaking widows in the early Christian community. They asked the community to choose seven “men of good standing,” whom they could appoint to oversee the distribution of food. As it turned out, the seven men chosen were Greek-speaking men themselves. So the ones who felt like they had a problem — the Greek-speaking believers — were the ones that were given responsibility for solving it.

Disagreements and claims of inequity will always occur whenever human beings are in community — even in the church. As we deal with these inevitable squabbles, perhaps we should remember the good example of the disciples and my mother-in-law.


  • For what problems does the church need to find an equitable solution?
  • How could the disciples’ approach outlined in today’s reading help move the solution forward?


  • Have you ever felt like a sibling or another family member or friend has gotten more of something than you have?
  • How did you solve the problem?

Heavenly Father, we know that sometimes life seems unfair. Sometimes it seems like other people get more than we do. In those times, help us to seek resolution prayerfully and lovingly, asking you for wisdom. Amen.