'All one in Christ'
14th September 2020
'thinking would have to change'
Dreams can be fascinating,
bewildering, confusing, frightening.
According to Peter's dream,
in Acts 10 and 11 though, it appears
that his entire thinking would have to change.
He dreamed of a great picnic
where God is telling him to have
a bite of all the things that
he isn't supposed to eat - bewildering!
And he has this dream three times!
As he finished dreaming,
representatives of Cornelius,
the Roman centurion,
came to his house and ask him to accompany them,
to meet Cornelius.
Peter went with them,
entered Cornelius' house,
and everybody started speaking in tongues,
reminiscent of the day of Pentecost!
"These people have received the Holy Spirit
just as we have",
and so everybody was baptised.
God has a place in His heart
and in His Kingdom for everybody,
It is not the His will
that his people should remain defined
by any one ethnic group,
by any one social group,
or any unit that separates us
from our fellow men and women.
On the contrary, as we read,
about God building the church,
in the book of Acts, what we see is that
He was very deliberately building
a multi-coloured community
where in Christ there was
'neither Jew nor Greek, (nor Palestinian nor Arab),
(no rich or poor), no slave or free,
no male or female,
but where all are one,
for all are in Christ as Christ is in all.'
.... Galatians 3:28
Peter had a dream;
Martin Luther King had a dream;
and this dream continues.
It took some 2000 odd years,
and it is taking the church longer than most,
but we seem to be finally discovering
that there is indeed no male nor female in Christ,
but that women are in fact equally capable
of ministry and service as are men -
although, of course, that debate goes on!
It is a dangerous thing to dream.
And it is certainly unsettling
for the church leadership.
Things would be so much easier
if God restricted Himself
to communicating with us only through
the direct study of the Scriptures.
Such a God would be a lot easier
to contain and to predict.
But it seems to be built in to the package,
that if we are going to worship a living God,
then we are going to have to put up
with ongoing surprises -
for certainly our God is a God of surprises.
And the surprises,
I believe, keep coming in this same area -
that God is continuing to open us up
as a community to become
the truly multi-coloured family
that He always intended us to be.
He is always pushing us beyond
our comfort zones and moving us
from 'me' to 'we' and from
'us and them' to just 'us'.
'Love one another as I have loved you.'
Jesus commanded His disciples.
It trips off the tongue so easily, doesn't it?
But often it's so hard to do!
So when you're struggling,
when the thoughts are far from loving,
just ask God for help.
For, as Paul said,
'I can do all things in Christ
who strengthens me.'
.... Philippians 4:13