Reading: Acts 10:34-43
When I was a kid, my mom loaded up my brother and me and took us to a parking lot where some kind of fair/festival was going on. I think it was one of those local business fairs, where business owners could come stand in a parking lot for a few hours to give away crappy pens and mugs with their logo on them. We set up a card table and spread out our wares—fuzz balls with googly eyes and felt feet. They were adorable.
We’d spent a number of hours the night before making them. I don’t remember how many; we might have had as many as a hundred. Our goal? To give them all away. We had a little sign that said, “FREE WARM FUZZIES.” (I’m not shouting at you; it was in all-caps.) People would come up and ask, “What are warm fuzzies?” We’d point to the fuzzies. Others would want to know “How much are they?” We’d point to the sign. It was a great system.
To this day I have no idea why we were there, and mom’s not around to ask. Even as a 6 year old, it was a fascinating social experiment. People didn’t know what to make of the two boys with the free warm fuzzies. Was there a catch? Were they really free? How many can I take? Some would insist on leaving some money. Some would walk away empty-handed, not willing to accept something they didn’t fully understand, even if it was free.
The apostles of the early church had to face some of that. The God of the Jews suddenly shows no partiality? In any nation anyone who does what is right is suddenly acceptable to God? What’s the catch?
No catch. The message of Jesus’ peace—not pax romana, the tenuous peace offered by the oppressive Roman government—offered forgiveness of sins to any who believed that Jesus was God’s messenger.
Jesus’ idea of peace was as radical as his idea of kingdom. How are you engaging each of those as a disciple of Jesus?
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