Who would you invite to dinner?
Occasionally on arriving at a crowded restaurant with dozens of people waiting for a table I wonder if I could convince strangers to share a table with us, so the hostess could sit us four to a table instead of two at two different tables. I wonder if the hostess might be able to seat us sooner and if we might meet another interesting couple. But such an impromptu meeting could have all kinds of unintended negative consequences.
Peter ran into several unintended negative consequences after accepting an invitation to visit the home of a Roman military leader.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?”
— Acts 11:2-3 (NRSV)
This difficult passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit continually challenges us to welcome people different from our way of life. Even those who might confront what we consider important and essential to following Jesus.
I will have more to say about Acts 11:1-18 on Sunday, April 24th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor