Down came the blanket with those creepy, crawling snakes and vultures and other weird animals on it. In fact, the heavenly blanket came down three times. And each time the blanket descended, Peter said, "No, not me!" Peter's response to God's picnic invitation was not mere squeamishness. Peter found the menu repulsing. None of those animals was acceptable food. Peter's "no" welled up from deep within him. An observant Jew, Peter had spent a lifetime trying to remain ritually clean. His "no" to the heavenly invitation was the visceral, reactive, reflexive result of years of religious conditioning.
In our passage from Acts, the blanket from heaven carried with it the promise of God's unimaginable generosity for all humankind. God's blanket was blotting out the boundary between Jew and Gentile, a boundary that God found unnecessary. What God had made clean was clean indeed.
Friday, 19 April 2013
The Protection of ChristChrist as a light,
illuminate and guide me!
Christ as a shield,
overshadow and cover me!
Christ be under me!
Christ be over me!
Christ be beside me,
on left hand and right!
Christ be before me,
behind me, about me!
Christ, this day,
be within and without me!
Friday, 12 April 2013
I am your friend. Yet still you ask,
and how can I reply?
I swore unending loyalty and then
three times denied, but Lord,
I am your friend. And still you press,
You are my friend then? Lord it hurts,
but in the hurting heals:
three times I say it, Yes I am your friend.
And gladly I will serve as you command.
Friday, 5 April 2013
as ice melts and rivers flow
when spring comes,
breathe your life-giving Spirit
into our frozen hearts.
Set our minds on fire
and our feet running,
to seek and to serve your truth.
Free us from all that captivates us.
Give us a deeper understanding of your truth.
Increase our wisdom.
Remind us that you have written our names
on the palms of your crucified hands
and help us to know that you call us by name.