The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

No more “us” and “them” (for Sunday, May 21)

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centurion-01.jpgPeter's seen a vision: no more "us" and "them." So he and his tag-alongs find themselves invited to the home of an "illegal alien": Cornelius the centurion.

It's hard to imagine how strange this must have been. Peter and his Jewish buddies have never been in the home of a gentile before – indeed, it's against the law. And Peter's the only one who's had the vision.

I imagine the others ("Whoa, he's going inside!") glancing up and down the street, stepping quickly through the door, and quietly edging up against the wall so no passing Jew could see them there. Reputations are at stake!

And I imagine them just a bit later – as God's cascades of love pour down – feeling wonder, love, and embarassment.

Doesn't it often happen that way? We're put into a situation almost against our will, worried about what the Christians will think if they see us there, then God shows us one more time how big and generous he is and how small and petty our love has been.

What do you learn about him? Check it out:

Acts 10

44-46No sooner were these words out of Peter's mouth than the Holy Spirit came on the listeners. The believing Jews who had come with Peter couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on "outsider" non-Jews, but there it was—they heard them speaking in tongues, heard them praising God.

46-48Then Peter said, "Do I hear any objections to baptizing these friends with water? They've received the Holy Spirit exactly as we did." Hearing no objections, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Then they asked Peter to stay on for a few days.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Written by Monte

May 18, 2006 at 11:58 pm

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