9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:9-15)
This passage out of Acts 10 has been key in much of my adult life and ministry. Years ago the Spirit used this passage to radically change how I viewed others in society and culture. Recently, I have reflected on this passage again in regards to racial justice and working with churches where we live in Alabama.
A key aspect of this passage has been driving me throughout all this time but this morning I finally saw it plainly. When it comes to the work of justice, those in power often say to those on the margins, “Come see us.” We often want schedules on OUR time table.
The Lord didn’t tell Peter, “Go send for Cornelius.” He told Peter, “GO.”
We need to be IN with those on the margins. We need to be IN with those seeking justice. It’s comfortable having a meeting on my time schedule, or doing an event that I like and raising money I can “send out.” It’s another thing to carve up my calendar and GO. Yet, that was the command to Peter.
Justice will disrupt our time. We treat time as a commodity, so it’s a GREAT disrupter.
Take the time. Visit a church not like yours.
Take the time. Have a meal with folks not like you. Go to THEIR favorite place… and pay.
Take the time. Sit on their porch and have a conversation.