Acts chapter ten begins with God telling Peter that shellfish is now in season and he is free to eat whatever he wants. To which Peter replies, “Heaven forbid!” which is the proper response when one is tempted by all manner of culinary delights denied to kosher Jews for almost two thousand years. But God insists that Peter sit down and dine and before you know it Peter is acting like Jesus and eating and drinking with tax collectors (aka Romans) and sinners (aka Gentiles). “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” is true for all manner of animals as well as people so that Peter, who often appears dumb as rock, suddenly perceives that God shows no favoritism, which is shocking given the restricted relationship God demanded from the children of Israel. That is not to say the early church welcomed the new neighbors with open arms. Even Peter had to defend his Acts chapter 10 actions to James and John and the rest and if you believe Paul’s account in Galatians 2 Peter didn’t do so well and “began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of the circumcision group”. The church has been declaring clean and unclean ever since making what is binding arbitrary (the law of love) and what is arbitrary binding (the love of law). I wonder what acts of God might astound us in this day and age so that we ask the question, “What is to prevent us from suspending the rules we have come to rely on and welcome the new thing God is doing?” Heaven knows.