Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 65; 147:1-11, Job 6:1, 7:1-21, Acts 10:1-16, John 7:1-13
Three-dimensional (stereoscopic) vision is pretty miraculous. In simple terms, each of your eyes sees the world from a slightly different perspective and your brain combines the two images to create a sense of depth and distance. When you wear 3-D movie glasses, two images are projected on the screen, and each lens is polarized so it can see only one. Without the lenses, the screen is a blurry mess. With one lens, it’s a clear but flat image. With both lenses, your brain sees amazing things.
Cornelius was a Gentile man who was devoted to the Lord. The Lord recognized his faithfulness and sent Cornelius a vision instructing him to send representatives to the city of Joppa, where they would find Simon Peter.
The next day, the Lord sent a vision to Peter, who was on the roof praying:
He saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then he heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”
The vision made no sense to Peter, who faithfully clung to Jewish dietary restrictions. The Lord had to send the vision twice more before Peter accepted it.
Taken individually, neither of these visions made sense to the recipients. Soon though they would merge, Peter and Cornelius would meet, and a whole new picture of the Body of Christ – one encompassing both Jews and Gentiles – would be revealed.
Every believer brings a different perspective to the wholeness of the Body. We can settle for the two-dimensional faith of a single lens, but that leaves us thinking everyone who doesn’t line up with our viewpoint is an incomprehensible mess, and under the mistaken assumption that we are privy to the one true picture. Like Paul and Cornelius, until we form diverse community, our vision is incomplete. The less we insist on seeing the world through only our own personal, congregational, or denominational lens, the more complete is our vision of the Kingdom of God.
Comfort: You have a unique and valuable perspective to contribute.
Challenge: You have many unique and valuable perspectives to consider..
Prayer: Lord of all creation, teach me to approach the world with an open and humble mind. May I embrace the good and learn from the bad. Amen.
Discussion: When has someone else’s perspective really changed your own?
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