The mind boggling border crossings
Week 37: 07/09/2023. Thu
Crossing borders have been traumatic for some of us, especially where the embarkation point and destination point differs in time zone, language, culture and safety levels.
Carrying out the church mission statement's building relationship with people overseas do carry with it some "traumas" inevitably, big or small.
For the passage today, we see, firstly that Peter was "lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea" at Joppa (Acts 10:5–6). By Peter's Jewish upbringing, a tanner's house should be considered unclean due to the trade's dealing with part of an animal carcass (skin).
Perhaps, God was orchestrating and preparing Peter to journey through the next step of gospel proclamation–ministry to the Gentiles beyond Palestine until the ends of the earth, or at the very least, the Roman empire then.
Indeed, God chose start with a message to just one of them–Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort through a vision that has an angel of God giving a message (Acts 10:3). We note that Jesus was crucified by a Roman centurion. Perhaps Peter needed extra guidance and encouragement to embrace Gentiles (including their occupiers then–Romans).
REFLECTION: Are we aware of our own prejudices that inhibit God's vision and plan for the world? Are you aware of God's "preparatory plans" that He had curated for your further education in crossing "borders"? Can you have an open mind (not to evil) but to God's clear guidance in Bible's message, and His messengers of the moment?