Reflection by your Co-Pastors May 6, 2021
Acts of the Apostles 15: 7-21
Here is Peter trying to explain to the Council of Jerusalem his heavenly vision and subsequent visit to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile, where he baptized Cornelius' entire household and then accepted an invitation to eat at Cornelius' home.
"God who knows the human heart" Peter says, "testified to them (the Gentles) by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us. God made no distinction between them and us, so why are you putting God to the test?"
Now there's a good question "Why are you putting God to the test?"
The disciples, prior to Peter's vision and witness of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Gentiles, had seen the Gentiles as unclean and unworthy of God's saving grace. After all, the Gentiles were not even circumcised which was mandatory under Jewish law!
Meanwhile, God's Holy Spirit, which shows no partiality, descended upon the Gentiles and they were given the repentance that leads to life. They became believers in Jesus the Christ and were baptized in his name.
This move from "us" and "them" to "us together" as the Body of Christ, happens over and over again in Christian history.