Disruptions can feel pretty safe until they begin to disturb our prejudices. Prejudice can take many forms. We can be prejudiced against people of another religion or ethnicity. We can be prejudiced against folks of another race or gender. Sometimes, prejudice shows up in the form of ageism or fear of refugees. Whatever form prejudice may take, it often keeps other people and groups at a distance, and the person holding the prejudice in power. Holding prejudice is often our way of playing favorites, and we assume God holds the same view we do.
When God disrupts our prejudices, it often feels like a wake-up call. This is, in essence, what happened to Peter in the book of Acts. Through a vision, God invited Peter to eat animals that Scripture declared to be unclean. Peter could not understand the vision until he was called to visit the home of a gentile who had recently begun to experience a softening of his heart and soul toward God. God led this gentile, Cornelius, to summon Peter to his house. Cornelius wanted to know more about God and God’s love.
When Peter arrived at the home of Cornelius, he came to the realization that God does not show favoritism but accepts everyone. The grace of God disrupted the prejudice of Peter and opened his eyes to the work of God in a group of people Peter had rejected. Peter could not do this on his own, it was the work of God.
It’s not easy to admit we may have prejudices. How can we open our hearts to God’s healing work in this area?
Scott Wagoner, adapted from Fruit of the Vine