The Lord who pushed boundaries to construct a Universal Church
Dr. Mary Jacob Mathew
Horeb MTC, Los Angeles
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit
said to him, “Look, three men are searching for you. 20 Now get up, go down,
and go with them without hesitation; for I have sent them.”
Today’s passage talks about Peter’s vision
while he was praying. This passage has a lot of things going for it. It is set
in a background where Christianity was an exclusive offshoot of Judaism (The
early Christians were Jewish Christians). First, we see a Peter who took time
to pray in a situation where he probably would have had other pressing ministry
related matters to attend. This, if you look at the course of events, leads to
Peter listening to the voice of God and drastically changing the course of his
ministry. It struck me that in our busy schedules, how many times do we stop to
pray let alone give Him an opportunity to speak to us?
In his vision, Peter sees the clean and unclean animals and God asks him to kill and eat them. I think that God challenges the status quo when it comes to the concept of clean and unclean in the traditional Judaic cultural and ethnic context here. Even though the boundary between the Jews and Gentiles are pushed many times throughout Jesus’ ministry, this is the pivotal point in the early ministry where the boundaries are crushed. Now Peter is faced with this daunting and uncomfortable task of starting gentile evangelism. The resultant meeting with Cornelius could potentially unsettle the structure in the early church.
What this passage speaks to me is that God might put us in situations where we may have to go out our comfort zones. We may have to work to spread the word of God in the midst of people that might be considered unclean by the privileged Syrian Mar Thomite with elite ancestry.So when God challenges are you listening? When God pushes the boundaries, are you willing to go above and beyond to build His Universal Church?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, use us as instruments in Your ministry to build the Universal Church. Amen
Thought for the day: Salvation is meant to be universal and all are pre-approved by God.