Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hard Headed!

Scripture--Acts 10-Acts 12

Observation--I loved the story of God changing Peter's mind!  How cool is that!  Cornelius was a pious, "God-worshipping" man.  The only problem was that he wasn't born to the right parents.  He wasn't circumcised.  But that didn't matter to God.  It mattered to Peter and the Christians, but it didn't matter to God.

Application--I am hard-headed.  Ask Wallace.  Or my Dad.  Wait, don't ask them--they are harder headed than I am.  I have opinions.  Lots of them.  Just ask me, and I'll tell you! (Probably!)  And I know I'm right.  Now, I listen to other ideas.  And I will change my mind!  And I'm sensitive, but how hard would it have to be to change your mind so much!  To take something that you'd be taught was evil and wrong and unholy your WHOLE life and suddenly realize that God didn't think it to be evil or wrong or unholy?  What would that first bite of bacon taste like?  Or that first cheeseburger?  Or the first shrimp?  All those things were unholy--unclean, and now God had revealed that they were clean!  

Remember, a few days ago, we talked about the verse that said that said that the Holy Spirit would reveal things the disciples weren't ready for?  This is one of those things.  Have there been others throughout Christianity?  Will there be more?  But how do we tell the difference?  Between God's vision and clarity and truth and what we want God to say?  When do we know its God and not a crazy person?  I think our reading tells us!  What did Peter do?  He made sure others witnessed the miracle--saw how the people in the room with Cornelius were changed by the Spirit.  Then he took it back to the church and got their feedback.  Convinced them.  We can't make these decisions alone--the Spirit made lead us, but we all need to use the Spirit in us to discern how the Spirit is moving and what it is saying.

Are you ready to change your mind?  Or maybe better, are you open to the Spirit changing your mind? 

Prayer--Spirit of Truth--Open our hearts to your change.  May we hear your call and follow, no matter how scary or foreign!  All our love!  Amen

Pastor Emily 


Lynne Watts said...

I think that we are so familiar with this story and with the ability to eat anything we want without a second thought that the shocking, incredible changes that occur in this story are easy to overlook. Not only does Peter change his mind but he does things that are specifically forbidden in the Torah. He goes against his upbringing, scripture and Jewish tradition. He broadens the scope of the good news and takes in outside the Jewish people. This is more than incredible it is revolutionary and risky. It could have cost him the support of the Jewish people and it is a credit to his persuasive ability and leadership that he is later able to convince them that it is okay. The equivalent today would be a minister advocating accepting something that is specifically declared wrong in the New Testament. How would we know that we should believe him? Enter the Holy Spirit... I've written a blog about a similar topic on entitled "Everyone Deserves A Chance To Fly"

Mary said...

Would Christianity have come to us, if Peter had not acted on the vision he received? Where might the Spirit lead us today?

Carol Flores said...

After seeing the vision, and then seeing the three men that the Spirit had told him were there, I think the Spirit led Peter to reflect more deeply on the meaning of Jesus' words. Jesus had commanded him to preach to ALL people, to testify that Jesus was the one that would judge the world, not man. God shows no partiality so neither should we. Salvation would not be based on what you ate but by faith through the grace of God.