Clean--by God's Decision
Scripture Reading — Acts 10:1-16
"Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15 —
Most of the divisions, conflicts, and wars we have in our societies come from our prejudices against people who are different from us. Without exception, we all have prejudices against certain people or groups. Though we have given our lives to Christ, most of us keep prejudices we inherit from our culture.
What comes to mind, for example, when we hear the words French, Arab, Muslim, Black, Latino, White, Jew, Catholic, Reformed, Baptist, or Pentecostal? Unconsciously our minds associate such words with strong feelings and thoughts that are often negative.
Peter had biases against all people who were not Jewish. Peter's religious prejudices were so strong that even the fire of Pentecost didn't destroy them. God used a special vision to open Peter's spiritual eyes. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, Peter was called to accept all people as loved by God. Peter received this vision so that he could welcome Cornelius into the fellowship of believers.
What are my prejudices? Who are the people I consider as low, inferior to me? Who are the people I cannot tolerate because of their race, culture, or social level? Who are the people I do not want in my neighborhood, at work, or at church? The Spirit of God calls me to repent of my prejudices today. What about you?
Dear Lord, forgive my prejudices toward people of other races, countries, and religions. Please help me to live in peace with everyone around me. In Jesus, Amen.