Year B, Easter; Acts 10:34-43; Lectionary reading for April 4, 2021
The good news is for everyone!
God didn’t choose to save only the Jews. From the very beginning, when God calls Abram, he is told that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Gen 12:3)”, but tribalism is as difficult to shake now as it was in Abram’s time. Even though the resurrected Jesus commissions the disciples to spread the Word around the world, and even though they received the gift of tongues at Pentecost, God knows Peter isn’t quite ready for God’s blessing to be upon non-Jews and Jews. God sends a vision to Peter and an angel to the centurion Cornelius, and finally Peter understands.
Nope. No buts about it.
No matter who you are, where you’re from, the colour of your skin, what language you speak, your gender, or who you love, if you fear (honour, respect, and revere) God and do what is right, God accepts you into God’s family.
Jamie Lee Curtis’s book, Is There Really a Human Race? helps put this into perspective. The story is told as a child asking a parent questions about this human ‘race’ we seem to be in. Where are we going? Why are we racing? Is the race fair? Eventually the perspective switches to the parent, who reassures their little one that we aren’t actually in a race with other people, and in fact, we experience far more success when we cooperate rather than compete. There’s a lot going on in the illustrations, so plan on leaving this book out in the Sunday school room, or when it’s safe to pass something around during coffee and fellowship (remember those days? Sigh.).
Questions to ask before you read:
- Do you like being in races and contests?
- Would they still be fun if EVERYTHING was a race or a contest?
- Can you win God’s love in a race?
Questions to ask after you read:
- Can you tell if someone loves God by looking at them?
- Can you lose God’s love in a race?
- Why do you think God made so many different kinds of people?
I hope you use this book in your ministry, but be warned: it can be a bit of a tongue-twister, so practice reading it out loud first! If you click on the picture of the book below, Amazon will happily sell you a copy and I will receive a small commission to help support the site. Check your local library for a copy too!
Curtis, Jamie Lee. Is There Really a Human Race? HarperCollins, 2006.