Acts 11:1-18 (NRSV)
Chapter 11Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. Verse 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, Verse 3saying, "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?" Verse 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, Verse 5"I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. Verse 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. Verse 7I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat.' Verse 8But I replied, 'By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' Verse 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, 'What God has made clean, you must not call profane.' Verse 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. Verse 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. Verse 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. Verse 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; Verse 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.' Verse 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. Verse 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' Verse 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?" Verse 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, "Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life."
How open are you to God doing a new thing in your life? When I get challenged in my life with things not going quite the way I thought they should, I’m not always so amenable to God’s apparent change of direction. It’s like having tunnel vision. I can only see what I want to see. I don’t see the bigger picture. I don’t see what God is working to accomplish not just in me, but in others as well.
How are my eyes and ears opened to see and hear what God is doing? Peter prayed and puzzled on that Joppa rooftop. I think I puzzle and cogitate, then pray. Whatever way you approach God’s working in your life, a willingness to follow God’s lead is key. What I do see though in this story is how it took God’s persistence to overcome Peter’s resistance.
Accomplishing God, overcome my resistance to change with your loving persistence. Amen.