Peter says in Acts today: who was I that could hinder God? He is responding to criticism that he had gone to see and eat with Gentiles. He tells those in his community who are critical of his actions about his dream where God showed him that all things that God creates are clean and not profane. All things.
This passage exhibits how the people around the disciples, and the disciples themselves, still did not get Jesus' message, after Jesus was no longer corporeally among them. They still wanted to make it a private club where they could select the members. We are still doing this 2000 years later. You got divorced, you have the wrong color skin, you act weird, you're gay or lesbian, well....You can't be part of our church. You can't be ordained or lead our church.
So who are we to hinder God's work? Who are we to think we know the mind and purpose of God, of who is "in" and who is "out". That need for control, a very human desire, is not part of our call to serve Christ. As hard as it is, we are to welcome all, be joy-filled at everyone's presence and response to God's invitation to be one in the loving embrace that is God.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.