May 3, 2018
A New Revelation
May 3, 2018
I grew up in the South — back when it was much more isolated and provincial than it is now. For example, I knew only one Catholic family whose kids went to my elementary school, and until I was a teenager I had never met a Jewish person. I didn’t even know any “Yankees” until a family from the Midwest moved in across the street when I was little. I thought they talked funny and ate weird food.
Sadly, it’s a deeply ingrained human trait to cluster together with people who have the same language, religious beliefs, food preferences and other customs. We tend to be suspicious of those who are different.
In our reading today, Peter has an “aha” moment about people who are different. God shows him, through a vision, that he should “never consider unclean what God has made pure” (v. 15, CEB). Even though Peter grew up an observant Jew and followed the laws of his people which called for separation from Gentiles, God had a new revelation for him. All people could be part of God’s family — Jews and Gentiles alike.
Peter was obedient to this new revelation and immediately shared the gospel with the Roman centurion who sent for him. He was willing to open his mind and heart and receive a new teaching from God. As you go about your day today, consider how you might likewise open your mind and heart to anything new God wants to share.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Are there any groups of people to which you still can’t open your heart?
- Ask God to help you see them with his eyes.
- What would you need to do differently in order to obey this new word from God?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Are there kids in your school who come from different countries and who may be learning the English language?
- What could you do to help them get adjusted and make friends?
God of all people, help us, like Peter, to be open to new ways of seeing our brothers and sisters. Help us to never consider unclean what you have made pure. Thank you for loving all of us and sending your Son to break down the false barriers we love to erect. Amen.