We recently celebrated Pentecost and now I invite you to read Acts chapter 10.
Acts 10:34-36 says:
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.
Those of the edge, those who are excluded, those considered unclean are all welcome; for as Peter says. “God shows no partiality”. This is radical inclusion. Peter, a significant church leader, profoundly changes his mind on something that is highly contentious and a core belief. He is open and attentive to the visionary experience of God; through an openness to God and an openness to the Holy Spirit; and in the encounter with other people. As we live in this different season, both in terms of our church and our own faith journey, there are lots of questions about the Holy Spirit’s promptings of us. How might the Holy Spirit be prompting us to move beyond boundaries? These may be our own or those imposed by others. How do we live as a Christian Community? What is our main thing? What is the Holy Spirit prompting us to focus on in this season? Perhaps it is pastoral care, hospitality, growing disciples, mental well-being, variety of worship, or something else… What new thing is God doing? What new possibilities could emerge? What is being revealed that was hidden before? What are we being reorientated towards? As a Church we are pondering questions similar to these as we discern what God is calling us each to be and do. It isn’t a simple maths question where there is only one answer. It takes time to discern. As with Peter it might come to us in all sorts of ways – visions from God, the Holy Spirits outpouring, in conversation with others... This is a journey of discovery. As with Cornelius and the other gentiles it starts with prayer and our willingness to be changed in order to truly be inclusive and welcome everyone as we move forward as a Church.
Let’s continue to seek God’s will for us and as we do so hold each other in prayer.
Every blessing, Jenny