"Then Peter began
to speak to them: '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. You know the message he sent to the
people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of
all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee
after the baptism that John announced: 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.'" (Acts 10:34 )
The Twelve Days of Christmas are now past, and the decorations have
been put away for another year. However, the miracle that is
celebrated at Christmastime is with us always. Now, what are we
doing with the Good News?
When this Scripture was read in church earlier this morning, God
gave me a new understanding of this passage. It's a situation that
exists in many of our churches that we're unaware of or would rather
didn't exist. Many of us are reluctant to preach the Gospel to
people that are too different from us.
The early Church encountered this situation, too. Some Jewish
converts felt that the Gentiles weren't as righteous as they were,
and weren't ready to accept them. This happens in our time, as well.
Many Christians are hesitant to preach the Gospel to those who are
coming from a different background. It seems easier to approach
those who have a similar background or are very much like us.
However, the example of the Apostles in
the book of Acts shows us a different way. The Gospel is not just
for those of the same race, ethnic background, economic status or
nationality as us. The Good News is for
all who are willing to
accept Christ into their lives and hearts. Will we see those around
us as strangers to be avoided? Or others that are in need of Jesus'
redemption, as we are?
Let us be willing to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew