Acts 10:44-48 (NRSV)
Verse 44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. Verse 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, Verse 46for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, Verse 47"Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" Verse 48So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
A few years ago I was summoned to jury duty. As part of the jury selection process, we were shown a video introducing us to the concept of unconscious bias. I’d known that most people possess all manner of biases—explicit, implicit, internal, external—but in watching and thinking about unconscious bias, I began to consider all the biases I had unknowingly inherited or developed. We humans, both individually and tribally, structure our lives around “who’s in and who’s out.” It’s hardwired within us. But there are times when God cracks the hard façade of our biases, opening us to see how God is very much working in the lives of those who seem so different from us, but who are also very much God’s beloved people. Just as with those to whom Peter had preached the good news of the Resurrection, God is still at work opening hearts, changing minds, and bringing forth the dominion of God.
Open us, Gracious God, to see you in the lives of all people, especially those we think are outside your reign of love, until your kingdom comes to break forth through and among us all. Amen.