July 31, 2011: Good News with Skin On: Part 7


Acts 10:9-16, 23-29

About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 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.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him. The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. On Peter’s arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, “Stand up; I am only a mortal.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?”

Notes, Links and Video

We are unable to embed the video about Lucas from the end of Amanda's message, but you can click here for the video and article.

Dodgeball:  The Painful Story of Humanity
Why do we find it so difficult to embrace "the other?"

  • Fear of change/need for the familiar
  • Fear of challenge/what we might learn
  • Fear for our safety/locked Doors
  • The Good News: perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18)

The Bible: A Story of Dodgeball and God's Relentless Love

  • Glimpses in the Old Testament (stories of Rahab, Ruth, Care for Foreigners)
  • Jesus:  No more dodgeball! He embraced ... lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners, poor people, discarded ones, debtors, blind people, outcasts, children, elderly people, sick people, non-Jews, Jews, demon-possessed people, outsiders, heretics, God-experts ... (see John 4:4-42, Luke 10:25-37, Luke 8:43-48, Luke 7:1-10, Mark 7: 24-30, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 14:16-24 ... and then some ...)
  • Jesus had the "wrong friends" ...

The Risen People: No Dodgeball Allowed (Sort of ...)

  • They lived as though all are ONE in Christ Jesus
  • There were no hierarchies, no "big deals"
  • Each believer used his or her gifts for the common good
  • They "lived for the whole" and shared with everyone (see Romans 12:1-8, 1 Corinthians 12:14-31, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, Philippians 4:2-3, Galatians 3:28, Galatians 5:13-14, Colossians 3:12-17)

Peter learns to stop playing dodgeball.

  • Acts 10:9-16 and 23-29
  • Strangers become friends! Enemies become friends!
  • Lots of other stories in the book of Acts, too (Acts 8:26-40, Acts 9, Acts 15)
  • God's promise of abundant mercy, life changing love, eternal life, abundant life ... is for everyone!

So, what about us?

  • It's not easy ...
  • “Love your neighbors.  Not the neighbors you pick out, but the ones you have."  -Wendell Berry
  • Can we do this on our own?  (NO!)
  • Share the GOOD NEWS!!
Setlist (iTunes links provided)

All the Poor and Powerless
Give Me Your Eyes
Words to Build a Life On
The Earth is Yours 

Podcast 7/31/11