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.”
Reflection by Janet Derby
Sometimes we believe that things have changed, for better or worse, but when we read Scripture, we question that. I would have thought that the apostles and early Christians would have welcomed all new believers, but this passage shows that was not the case. It seems that Peter goes into an elaborate explanation to justify his actions, but that is not surprising. Too often, we have an us and them mentality that is not easily adjusted. I wonder in what ways I prejudge others and am reluctant to share the word of God.
God of All, Help me to be open to everyone, regardless of whether they are like me. Thank you for the stories and people that remind of us of your all-encompassing love. Amen.