Monday, April 22, 2013

Easter 5 C - 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 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 like eating shrimp on the Sabbath. The categories of clean and unclean 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 final solution. In the vision of the sheet the future imagined by God is revealed where distinctions of clean and unclean and everything 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 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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