Scripture: Acts 10:34 – 48
Key verse: Acts 10:47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Reflection: The early church faced a major controversy. Should Gentiles (people who were not Jewish) be welcomed and included? Jesus was Jewish and all of his disciples were Jewish. Did he come as Savior and Lord only for the Jews?
In the book of Acts, we read about the spread of the gospel from the first disciples out into the world to include many more people. In chapter ten, Peter is called to share the good news with Cornelius, a Gentile soldier. Peter undergoes a tremendous transformation, letting go of his old understandings of right and wrong, and his old categories of in and out. Apparently God intended the good news of Jesus to spread among Gentiles.
This is wonderful news! If the early church had decided that Jesus was only Savior and Lord of Jews, most of us wouldn’t be disciples today. We are the recipients of the gracious welcome and inclusion first seen between Peter and Cornelius. So, who are we tempted to exclude today? God is at work tearing down boundary walls and welcoming outsiders. God invites us into transformation that will push us outside of our own comfort zones. Will we withhold ourselves from those God loves?
Prayer: “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.” I am thankful that your wideness includes even me. Open my heart to share your love across all the boundaries. Overcome my fear with the power of love. Through Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].