Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Baptism of Our Lord Year A - Acts 10:34-43

Acts 10:34-43
“I truly understand that God shows no partiality…” I don’t think we can fully comprehend the magnitude of this statement. Everything Peter had been taught about God would have led him to believe the opposite. God is very particular and shows partiality to one nation as a treasured possession out of all the nations of the world. “I will be your God and you will be my people.” (Exodus 6:7) You don’t get any more partial than that. And more to the point Peter heard Jesus say he came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, (Matthew 15:24). But all that changes when Peter dreaming on the roof of his house is instructed to eat things formerly forbidden. His dream translates to a Spirit led field trip to the house of a Roman centurion named Cornelius where the Spirit falls upon the Gentiles in the same way it fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. And so Peter, who no doubt was pleased to be the one to whom God was partial, (You are the Rock upon whom I will build my church – Matthew 16:18) enters the house of Cornelius and eats and drinks with “goyim” and that is certainly not kosher. I wonder what sacred cows we would give up if like Peter we came to a new understanding and the God we thought we knew by living inside our religious box told us to eat and drink with those who color outside the lines because God is not as partial as we are. It might not be pretty but I think it might just be the picture God intended to paint.

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