A Bible study teacher asked her new class an “ice-breaker” question designed to put people at ease and encourage them to interact with each other. She asked about a favorite food, one that you might request if you knew you were in your last hours of living. The answers were as diverse as the participants, but pizza seemed to be a favorite choice among the students. They agreed to have a pizza party together on the last day of class.
We all have favorite foods, movies, books, travel destinations, etc. But did you ever consider that God has no favorites? Imagine that. God loves all of his creation equally. The reprobate sinner, the cheating spouse, the strong, committed believer, the enthusiastic worshipper, the poor refugee, the faithful disciple, the gay son … he loves them all with equal passion.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. God’s door is always open to you. This is such good news that Peter fairly explodes!
Acts 10 (The Message)
34-36 Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.
37-38 “You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.
This passage is a good choice for the week after Easter. The celebrations are over, the trumpeter has packed up and gone home, and the egg baskets are stored away. So what’s next?
What is next is the commissioning we all have received to BEAR WITNESS to our faith. We are challenged to share the good news as those who are fairly EXPLODING with joy! God is calling us to go and tell.
39-43 “And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn’t put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we’re not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets.”
So how about this: find someone this week and tell them about the resurrection. Invite your neighbor to church next Sunday. Take a co-worker for coffee and share your faith. Let everyone know that God doesn’t play favorites and his door is always open! We are an Easter People.
Thanks be to God.