Acts 10: 34-43 (NRSV)
Verse 34Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, Verse 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Verse 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ-he is Lord of all. Verse 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: Verse 38how 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. Verse 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; Verse 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, Verse 41not 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. Verse 42He 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. Verse 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
When God speaks, boundaries break down.
Us vs them. Friend vs enemy. Republican vs Democrat. White vs non-white. Straight vs LGBTQIA2S+. Followers of Jesus vs all others.
Peter had boundaries figured out. Then he had a mid-day vision. Three times! Clean vs unclean. Acceptable vs unacceptable. Then Peter heard a voice, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” Boundaries did not hold. (Acts 10:9-16) Peter got it. Even though he had spent time with Jesus he had not understood the radical non-conforming life of Jesus until he had this vision, heard this voice: “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.” (vv. 34-35)
How often do we look at others through the lenses of rules or sameness or conformity, drawing boundaries, building barriers? Jesus looked through the lenses of love and saw all as beloved children of God. Peter finally understood. May we too receive that gift!
Boundary-breaking God, speak to us clearly so we hear and see and understand and follow Jesus, showing no partiality in our acceptance of others. Amen.