Monday, April 22, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 28, 2013 - Acts 11:1-18

How int'resting their minds were changed
About one big taboo;
"We know that Gentiles can't receive
New life, like us," they knew,
Until to Peter, God then came,
And taught him otherwise,
Which when he told the church, they said,
"Our standard is revised!"
I am amazed how quickly God
Reversed the tried and true;
Or they, amazed more by God's grace
Than we, let God get through!
These days, so wedded are we to
God's gifts to man and wife,
We seem to think God powerless
To fill with grace the lives
Of two whose genders are the same!
Why? How could that bring hurt?
Perhaps we should think back to when
God bade the saints convert.

Scott L. Barton

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

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