Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Acts 10 (Thursday 10/27)
At this point, Peter sits down with Cornelius and says something that always stuck out to me. Verse 34 shows, in some of the plainest text in the Bible, that God does not show favoritism. Plain and simple, Peter states this with an objective tone. It is a gigantic concept, and for a long time, I had no idea how to take it. “If God shows favorites, then why? Why evil? Why do I get all these nice things? Why can I go into a Starbucks and get whatever I want? These people suffer, I certainly feel like a favorite.”
If I had a solution for the problem of evil and disenfranchisement, I do not think I would be sitting here trying to work it out. However, I do know one thing: Paul, Peter, spent none of their time helping only themselves. Rather, they went out to serve others exclusively. They realized that the world is in no way fair to so many people, and took the time to show God’s love to those who had literally nothing else. The concept was so important to Jesus that he spent all three years of his ministry demonstrating this over and over and over. Peter continues by reiterating the great commission, which is what this boils all down to. It’s the one thing that humans have in common. The ability to come together and worship the God who made us. So let’s go. Together. As a community, or should I say, a fellowship in Christ.
For Reflection: Are there things in your life that restrict you from worshipping? What stops you from believing that God shows no favorites? Pray that God would help you remove these distractions.
Read Acts 12 (Friday 10/28)
Once again, believers fail to grasp the concept of universal acceptance and grace. Jesus lived his entire life as a testimony to this exact fact, that there would be no one who would fall so far as to not be welcomed into the kingdom of God after accepting Christ as their ultimate scapegoat. However, as easy as it is to accept this as truth, reading about it now with the context of several thousand years, I still find myself failing to grasp this concept.
The Windy City is a haven for everyone: pure, strong, stable, unclean, weak, volatile. While the dietary restrictions imposed upon God’s people is no longer a hot button issue, there are myriads of other issues that I can rest my preconceived notions upon. In my community I have seen those in the fanciest suits pass next to those bumming their last cigarette. I would be blatantly dishonest if I claimed to have not twisted my earbuds a bit tighter as I briskly walked toward the Jarvis Red Line.
Peter fought against this. He imitated what Christ did with the woman at the well. Exactly what he was supposed to do. Verse 12 makes it clear. He had no hesitation. He reached out, which is exactly what I should be doing. The best part? I do not have to have any fear when doing so.
For Reflection: God extended grace to you, how can you tangibly show grace to someone else this week?
Reflections written by Jax Gorman