Scripture Reading — Acts 10:1-22
"Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15 —
Our elders received a letter that said, "At Christmas my son and his wife were visiting. I knew that I could bring them to church with their tattoos and piercings and that they would not feel judged. They really enjoyed the service and said, ?If we could find a church like yours back home, we would attend.'" Over the years, all sorts of people have attended our worship services and church events: bikers, suburban professionals, couples "living together," white-haired great-grandparents, and blue-haired teenagers.
We never know in advance how people will look or act. One attendee swore in the church parking lot and later at a small group meeting. She wasn't trying to offend; she just hadn't learned that her language was offensive. Eventually she grew as a believer in Christ. Years later, while being wheeled into an operating room for multiple cancer surgeries, she clutched Bible verses in her hand. Her journey to becoming a new person in Jesus had begun when she was welcomed as an unpolished person. At her funeral, half the people there were her church friends, and the other half were her old drinking buddies who had not yet left their excessive ways. After her funeral we had a meal at the church. Attendees didn't split into groups but sat and reminisced together. We realized that God does not show favoritism.
Lord, you asked Peter to take another look at "unclean" people around him. Help us to take another look at folks around us--and to love everyone in Jesus' name. Amen