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It started with food… It started with Peter… and a man named Cornelius…

Peter, as we experience him  is always pretty black and white. In his mind he knew exactly what was acceptable and what was unacceptable. We see, at times, Jesus working very hard at trying to open Peter up to a whole new way of thinking. In this
dream, God seeks to do the same.
The narrative known to Peter is of a God who time and time again came to rescue his people, cultivating the realisation that they are a special people, God’s people, distinct and separate from others. Not least when it came to tainting by unauthorised food stuff. Peter’s prejudices would not have been uncommon but in this episode Peter, with the help of Cornelius’s people, was led to a new revelation. Jesus’ ministry, his death and resurrection, had turned a whole culture upside down (or right side up).
For Peter, and for us, this story begins with the suitability of food: clean or unclean, holy or common.
But quickly Peter recognised that this vision was about more than just food. It was about humanity itself. Peter learned that in Jesus Christ the partialities of the world were broken down. God sees each individual as one loved and created by God. End of story. No qualifications. No get out clauses. Peter’s conversion is complete: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality….everyone is acceptable…”

What about us? When will we be transformed and bring about the transformation that still God longs to see in our world? Everyday is filled with stories and encounters to illustrate this week’s reading. Where are you heading with this text? How will you preach it? How will you live it? How will you allow it to transform you and your community?

Please share your ideas for worship and study around this text in the comments. And go and be the change you want to see.

Rev Liz Crumlish is a Presbyterian minister living on the west coast of Scotland. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals Board and contributed to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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One thought on “Narrative Lectionary: There is no ”other”! (Acts 10:1-17; 34-35)

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