Saturday, March 14, 2020

In their own words: Day 18

Acts 10.13-14

Then Peter heard a voice say, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat [these unclean creatures]. But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.’

Peter stayed on in Joppa at the house of Simon the tanner after restoring Tabitha to life,(see yesterday). While he was there he had a strange vision, in which he saw a cloth lowered from heaven filled with all sorts of animals which were regarded as unclean (pigs, shellfish, and all sorts of other foods which were forbidden to Jewish people). A heavenly voice told him to kill and eat them. This went against all Peter’s upbringing. At a visceral level he was disgusted. But God insisted that what he called clean, Peter must not dismiss as unclean.
As the vision faded, visitors arrived asking Peter to come to the house of the Gentile Roman centurion, Cornelius, who wanted to be admitted to the Christian community. He too, would have been regarded as unclean. Emboldened by the vision, Peter went to see him. This story reflects the enormous challenge the first, Jewish, followers of Jesus felt, as they realised that his message was for all people everywhere.

Have you ever struggled to include or befriend someone who felt very different from you? Why did it feel hard?

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