Going Deeper 05.05.2021

The first reading for the sixth Sunday of Easter... Acts 10:44-48

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

At long last it is happening.  The promise made to Abraham so many years and generations before is finally being fulfilled.  Through the descendants of Abraham and Sarah all of the nations of the world are being blessed.  Those descendants are, of course, the followers of Jesus.  It took a long time to get started, and a lot of work still remains, but as children of the one heavenly Father, we ought not be "astounded" when the God's gifts of grace and salvation are "poured out" upon those who are different than us.

The self-centeredness of sin has always had a powerful effect not only on us as individuals, but also on cultures and nations.  Nationalism and racism are nothing new, but have historically been a reality since the fall into sin.  And this can been seen throughout the history of Israel.  Even though God clearly revealed His intent to bless all nations, and His prophets (especially Isaiah) echoed that Israel was to be a light which would draw all nations to God, the Jews seemed to completely lose sight of that calling.  We are all prone to do so.

As children of God, we are called to not only hear that calling, but to lead the way to healing.  Judging others based on color of skin, cultural uniqueness, socio-economic status, and other differences is the opposite of what we are called to do.  We must see each other as all children of the same heavenly Father, drawn together through Jesus, equal and united in His love. 

What the world needs now-- what the world has always needed-- is love... God's healing love lived out through His children.

With You in His Love,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"