Friday, September 5, 2008

the improvisational cook (part two)

For those of you who are still wondering about yesterday’s post, I think it is time to “get Biblical” on ya! Remember Peter? He was minding his own business, a little hungry, and up on the roof praying. Peter goes into a trance and the Lord speaks to him not once, not twice, but three times in a vision. Peter was hungry and the vision told him to, “Kill, and eat!” food that was not kosher! Peter, being Peter, said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled or ritually unclean!” Three times the Lord shares this vision with Peter—then as he awakes from his trance men come to his door from a Gentile centurion named Cornelius. Peter was still trying to figure out the vision when the Spirit tells him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. But get up, go down, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them.” Peter does go and ends up baptizing Cornelius and his whole household (even though they were Gentiles!). You know the rest of the story; Peter had to deal the Jewish Christians who felt Gentiles needed to be circumcised BEFORE they could become truly Christian. We need to learn from this story. Peter (with the Spirit’s direction) was improvisational. He allowed the Spirit to lead him where no one had gone before—allowing Gentiles to become Christians without becoming Jewish first! What does this story mean to us today? I believe that it means we need to be aware of the Spirit’s call and leading in our ministry and not to allow those who would belittle or challenge us to keep us from “doing what is right.” It is time for pastors, indeed ALL Christians to be attuned to the Spirit’s leading and not be chained to our preconceived notions as to how we can “do ministry” in our various communities!

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