Paul counsels in Romans 13 that Christians be considerate towards the convictions of others regarding the eating of meat and celebration of holidays. The point he is making is that some (the weak) still have convictions to avoid certain practices, likely to avoid transgressing to the dietary and ceremonial laws of God. Paul doesn’t want the freedom given to us by Jesus to be a reason for belittling those who don’t feel as comfortable walking in that freedom. Much of what Paul teaches in Romans 13 is succinctly summarized in Romans 14:1, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” One thing to keep in mind is Paul’s entire teaching in these two chapters assumes intimacy in fellowship such that people understand each other’s convictions, weaknesses, and preferences. Paul’s teaching would make little sense to those who think of church only as the place they go occasionally on Sunday mornings. These instructions are for people that eat together, celebrate together, and know one another like family. If we began to genuinely read Paul’s letters as writings to churches instead of just individuals, it transforms our imaginations (Romans 12:1-2) to see that walking in obedience to many New Testament commands demands we live in strong community. If we don’t grasp this, then we will find ourselves reading much of the New Testament without the slightest clue how it impacts our lives. May God give us as a people a greater sense of commitment to one another that we might know, love, support, and build up one another as we pursue God with heart, soul, and mind. To do this, we must be together and engaged with one another on a regular basis.