Acts 10: 17-35
As Peter said in the passage, whom he met and what he did were pretty risky. His Jewish brothers may jump all over him. Why had Peter gone to that house? And what had Peter done in terms of eating unclean food?
From their perspective, Peter had crossed over the dividing line between God’s people and other people and had disobeyed the law, which was not negotiable, which was the one thing that made them who they were.
What differences do we have as God’s people? What is the dividing line we may keep drawing between Christians and other people—the one thing that makes us who we are, that may not be negotiable?
There’s a joke that I have heard from time to time, “How do we tell the differences between Catholics and Baptists in a liquor store?” The answer is, “The Catholics are the only ones talking to each other.” Is it that one thing that keeps drawing a line between us and them?
Where else might we have drawn more lines? A political view--a republican or a Democrat? Is it the dividing line we might keep drawing between us and them?
When I picture the scene of today’s passage, it seems like a cartoon, and its story between Peter and Cornelius sounds like a fairy tale, but it is not.
I believe this story is the word of God, and should be a window to God and should be a mirror for our souls—a window that we can imagine how God still shows no partiality; a mirror that we can reflect on who we are and what we can do to proclaim God of all, not for some people.
The passage tells us about how we all are called to cross over the dividing lines instead of drawing those lines.
We are called to keep prophesying how God of all should look; keep seeing visions of how the Spirit transforms each of us; and keep dreaming dreams about what a loving Christian community may look like within a divisive world.
Who are we that we can hinder God who is more universal and inclusive than we can imagine?