Day 33: Inclusive Image of God
Adapted from Acts 10 in THE MESSAGE
Dear Jesus, Help us to understand this message in Acts.
Peter was following the instructions of an Angel when he and his friends left Joppa and entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had his relatives and close friends waiting with him. The minute Peter came through the door, Cornelius was up on his feet greeting him—and then down on his face worshiping him! Peter pulled him up and said, “None of that—I’m a man and only a man, no different from you.”
Then, Cornelius introduced Peter to everyone who he had gathered. Peter addressed them, “You know, I’m sure that this is highly irregular. Jews just don’t do this—visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other.”
As we have been examining what happened after Jesus rose from the dead—one theme rings clear. No one is excluded from the healing love of Jesus Christ. No one is left out, and while some like Peter and Tabitha are credited with doing many good deeds, it is not their good deeds that win them favor with Jesus. The words that stand out to me here are, “God has just shown me (Peter) that no race is better than any other.”
The Apostles in Acts are constantly seeking to proclaim the Good News and to welcome the stranger. They have no confining dogma and no physical temple. The Great Commandment is the operating word for the day. They do not worship any human beings. How can we in the twenty-first century reclaim the healing power of Jesus Christ? How can we resist the urge to worship any person, place, ideology or race other than God?
Dear Lord, We are all members of the “human race” and yet we tend to dwell on differences. Give us the ability to see and hear what is truly in the hearts of others. Give us healing words to say to each other, and the ability to forgive—let nothing live in us that blocks out the reflection of Your Divine Image that You have placed in everyone of us. Amen.