Day 37 – Stranger Love

Acts 10:15, 28, 34-35

The Voice spoke to [Peter] a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

[Peter] said to [Cornelius]: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean….  I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

It took a thrice repeated vision from God to get Peter to see the truth about God’s inclusive plan.  It was a mind-blowing revelation.  NO ONE IS IMPURE OR UNCLEAN!  GOD WELCOMES THE ALIEN AND THE STRANGER.

Not everyone got the vision, and inclusion of Gentiles remained a controversial issue within the nascent church.

Questions for Reflection

Marisol was kicked out of her church because of her sexual orientation.  Barbara was excommunicated from her church because she divorced her husband.  Evan was barred from working with his church youth group because he participated in a Pride parade.  George was told not to attend church unless he covered his tattoos.  Javier left his church after the pastor said that all Muslims were going to burn in Hell.

What would you want to say to these individuals?  What would you want to say to the leaders of these churches?

How does Peter’s “enlightenment” challenge your own perceptions of who is included and who is excluded?  Do you think anyone is excluded from God’s welcome?

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