“The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them.Â These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’sÂ house.”Â – (Acts 11:12)
The apostle Peter had to justify why he went to the house of aÂ Gentile and ate with him (Acts 11:1-3). Clearly Peter went to shareÂ the good news of Jesus, but the sticking point was table fellowshipÂ with Gentiles. While this seems unbelievable to me, I can stillÂ remember the time when racism was more widely accepted and openlyÂ practiced. Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit — the promisedÂ power from God (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) — would lead his followersÂ to be witnesses to the “ends of the earth.” Peter makes clear thatÂ in this case, the Holy Spirit directly spoke to him and told him toÂ go (Acts 10:19).
Once Cornelius and his household were brothers andÂ sisters in Christ, fellowship was the result (Acts 10:48). WhileÂ that seems so clear, think of the ways we segment people to keepÂ from dealing with them as people, and even worse, as brothers andÂ sisters in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes clear that we belongÂ together, we are family, we are God’s children, and all those oldÂ worldly distinctions have to melt away (Gal. 3:26-39).
Prayer : Father, forgive us. Please forgive your children for ourÂ prejudice, selfishness, pettiness, and divisive attitudes. But moreÂ than forgive us, dear Father, transform us. Through the unifyingÂ power of the Holy Spirit, cleanse us and make us yearn to be withÂ each other. Help us demonstrate the unity that outsiders need inÂ our strife torn world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.