Before we begin, the obligatory Clay Davis compilation from one of the greatest shows of all time (uh… NSFW language)..
The Holy Spirit — in the Book of Acts — took the disciples to a future they never would’ve imagined; to a future that they didn’t desire; a future that included the Gentiles.
(enter dramatic music:
And that came into full view in Acts 10.
We’re first introduced to Cornelius.
Though a man of war; though a Roman and, therefore, a Gentile, we learn that Cornelius and his family are devout and God-fearing.
In, what would be a shocking turn of events, God speaks to Cornelius. A Roman. God instructs Cornelius to go bring back a man named Peter to his home. So Cornelius obeys and sends two of his servants and devout soldier to fetch Peter.
While the company was making their way toward Peter, Peter’s up on the roof to pray while waiting for his meal to be prepared and he falls into a trance.
You can read the rest in Acts 10.
Willie Jennings writes that
The revolution descends on a sheet. The sheet is everything. The sheet is radical. The sheet shatters and destroys. Its four corners are harbinger of its range and its reach across a planet and a universe…
Gaining permission to eat was gaining permission to live… A sheet of animals descended from heaven, and the Creator of the world granted Peter permission to eat. In so doing, God placed Peter in the midst of the world and said to him, “Join it, join them.”
Peter is not being asked to possess as much as he is being asked to enter in, become through eating a part of something that he did not imagine himself a part of before eating. This new eating grows out of another invitation to eat, one offered by his savior and friend: “This is my body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19).
Basically — something new is happening; something unimaginable and Peter is given a choice to step into this new future and world God is creating or remain clutching to the old way of living.