God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
From the Desk of Pastor Asher; Thinking Towards Sunday
13 May 2015Posted by on
Cornelius, “a devout man who feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2 ESV), was known for his faith and devotion to God. The way the story goes, Cornelius received a message from God to invite Peter into his house (Acts 10:3-8).
Meanwhile, Peter also had a revelation (Acts 10:9-19). As he was praying he saw a vision of “animals and reptiles and birds of the air” (Acts 10:12 ESV) that were not used for food by the Jews (“unclean” in Bible-speak). In this vision, it was revealed to Peter that nothing is considered unclean any longer, that he was allowed to eat anything that his heart desired.
I think that Peter was struggling to understand what the teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus meant to how he (Peter) was going to live out his faith and devotion to God for the rest of his life. If God created porcines, crustaceans and reptiles, why do we consider them unsuitable for food? If God is the Creator of the whole Universe and every living thing in it, how should followers of Jesus interact with non-believers and non-Jews? Does circumcision define us as followers of God, or it is just a [meaningful] ritual and tradition?
The story of Peter going to Cornelius’ home (Acts 10) provides two illustrations, namely Peter and Cornelius, of how our faith and faithfulness influences those around us. This story (Acts 10:47-48) reminds us that God invites all of us to be God’s ambassadors. We don’t have to agree on every minute point of theology to be of one accord (Acts 1:14) and in common mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. That is true because there are many people whose stories and experiences resonate differently with ours depending on their background.
There is room at God’s table for all of us regardless of where we have been or where we came from. The way we organize ourselves into church communities is secondary to the way we come forth to make disciples for Jesus for the transformation of the world.
What are some of the ideas that limit our outreach beyond the walls of our church building? What are some of the questions of faith that you are struggling with?