Monday, September 2, 2013

Love without discrimination.

Acts 10:34  Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35  but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36  You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all. 37  That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39  We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40  but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41  not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

A Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius has upset Peter’s carefully ordered world. This was a world where Peter (and most of his Jewish culture) believed that God only loved the people of the covenant of Abraham and Moses. The  non-Jewish goyim (גוים or גוי) were beyond the love of God and were to be tolerated if necessary, but preferably avoided.  Then Peter met Cornelius and discovered that God had already blessed him before peter had opportunity to object. And so Peter exclaims in amazement:  
"I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

The truth is that God does not belong to any religious creed or grouping. The love of God is available to all - irrespective of culture, religious belief, gender, or sexual orientation. So let us love with the love of God – indiscriminately!

Ordinary 23 / Pentecost +16
45 Forgiveness
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 276.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day

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