The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
“You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.” (Acts 11:1-3)
We spend an inordinate amount of our time trying to determine who belongs and who does not belong. Once we have made that determination, we do all that we can to embrace those who belong and to keep those who do not belong away.
We manufacture rules and we engage in behaviors that tell other people that they are not wanted.
All of this, however, is contrary to the live of a Christian.
Christians accept all people. Christians love all people. Christians care for all people.
Even we Christians get things wrong from time to time and engage in behaviors that exclude others.
In today’s reading, there was a group of people who were upset because Peter and his followers entered the house of someone excluded, someone who did not belong.
Peter would go on to explain that he, too, thought that way until he had a dream in which God opened his eyes to the fact that all people are brothers and sisters, that all people belong, and that all people who come to the Lord should be welcomed and embraced with open arms.
It was an unsettling dream for Peter because he had beliefs that would hold some people as outsiders and not worthy of his time.
God, however, had other plans and sees things entirely differently.
We are all God’s children. Best that we started treating each other accordingly!
FAITH ACTION: Look into your heart and see if there is someone whom you exclude from your life. Do all that you can to heal that relationship. At the very least, pray for that other person.