“The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the city, Peter went up to the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, and
he was hungry. But while lunch was being prepared,
he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’ ‘Never, Lord,’ Peter declared.
‘I have never in all my life eaten anything forbidden
by our Jewish laws.’ The voice spoke again,
‘If God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t.'”

Acts 10:9-15, NLT

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who first remarked that the most segregated hour in America is 11:00 AM on Sunday morning. His famous “dream” for the equal rights movement, has made some progress in the marketplace, in education, and in certain sectors of society in general. However, there are many areas in which the dream struggles mightily. In almost any part of the country racial profiling is verbally condemned, yet alive and well in practice. Security guards in retail stores still eye, with suspicion, people of color.

Unfortunately, the problem stubbornly lingers in the place where, theoretically and theologically, it should have never existed in the first place: the Christian Church.

We need to confess our biases and ask God to change the way we see others. Peter had a serious anti-gentile prejudice. Peter saw Cornelius as a gentile, unclean, like the unclean animals of the Old Testament. God saw Cornelius as devout, reverent, generous, obedient to the message of an angel, cleansed by God, and crucial for Peter to visit.

How do we see those who are different from ourselves: the tattooed man, the pierced, purple-haired girl, the heavily-accented Hispanic man, the African-American executive, the hijab-wearing Muslim woman, the bearded orthodox Jewish man?

We need to grow in our understanding of scriptural truths that combat prejudice.

QUESTION: How can you and I break down racial barriers/prejudices today?