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Peter & John — Acts 11:1-18

23 Dec

Acts 11:1-18 NIV
[1] The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. [2] So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him [3] and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” [4] Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: [5] “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. [6] I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. [7] Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ [8] “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ [9] “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ [10] This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. [11] “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. [12] The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. [13] He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. [14] He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ [15] “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. [16] Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ [17] So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” [18] When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Dear God, I am intrigued by the racism in the early church in this story. They just couldn’t imagine that they weren’t superior in your eyes—simply because of their fortune to have been born Jewish. I suppose that outside of Jesus, this might be the first time that racial barriers are broken down and we are left to look at each other as equals under your eyes.

Why do we do that? What is it about us that feels the need to elevate ourselves at the expense of others? I suppose it is insecurity and the true knowledge of how flawed we each are. As I sit here and think about it, our nation is in the throws of a struggle over how to deal with people who live in Latin America and want to immigrate here. The irony is, most people want to focus on protecting the border and keeping them out. In my mind, that’s like treating cancer with morphine. You’ll feel Breyer for a while, but the cancer will grow. In this case, Latin American immigrants have been wanting to come here for jobs since before I was born. Isn’t it time we went to the source of the problem and figured out how to root out corruption and develop the nations to our south to make them stronger? Isn’t a strong Latin America in our national interest? As Christians, isn’t a strong Latin America in the interest of our fellow humans?

Father, I know I still have vestiges of racism with me. Help me to see it, repent, and then use the knowledge to do something about it. Use me in your plan however you wish.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2018 in Acts, Peter and John

 

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