Monday, April 26, 2010

Easter 5c - Acts 11:1-18

Acts 11:1-18
I think I might just have to remain kosher if the Lord told me to eat reptiles, even if rattlesnake does taste just like chicken. Of course the come down on a sheet menu is really just a set up for what comes next. Three gentiles come a calling and Peter goes to their house which is akin to eating shrimp on the Sabbath. The categories of clean and unclean, distinctions determined by the chosen, are designed to keep one group pure by profaning the other. It begins with keeping oneself separate and while segregation will satisfy for a time eventually violence is the only final solution. In the vision of the sheet the future imagined by God is revealed where distinctions of clean or unclean and anything in between is erased from the human vocabulary. The prophet Isaiah sees it as the sheet that covers the nations, hatred, violence, pride leading to prejudice, lifted in favor of forever feasting. To be faithful to the future is to follow it in the present so as not to hinder God. Paul will say it this way. There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free because in Christ God declares there is no distinction. So, while you certainly may decline the rattlesnake appetizer, loving neighbor as self is not optional on the Christian menu.

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