This extraordinary means of living is demonstrated within the story of Peter in the Acts of the apostles (Acts 11.1-18). Despite the requirements of Jewish law around dietary matters God's vision is a turning point in how Peter sees the community in which he lives. For us it must also be a turning point in how we live our lives and is an instruction to those who look to guide young people in their formative years. By accepting that which we automatically shun as a result of our own inner convictions with an act of love is the true beginning of living as Christ;s servant and disciple. Those who follow Christ are asked and are asking their compatriots to put aside their own deep prejudices and open their hearts to the community in which they live. To often we see this as but an excuse to create havens that are conforming to our own ideals and our own believes. No leadership and no form of politics if it is to be truly Christian can abandon people to live without care and love. This applies to a familial level as much to an international level.
Only when we come together do we expose love
We cannot abandon the least of our families, communities or other groupings for the sake of our prejudices and incoherent beliefs. The commandment that we obey is the one that is inclusive of all not just for some. This is something that we need to ultimately understand for ourselves as Christians especially within the present climate of expediency and denial that affects our everyday lives. Only when we have plumbed the depths of despair do we find the hope of the risen Christ in the love that is shared with our neighbours in humility and hospitality. Peter destroyed everything that he knew as being part and parcel of his faith to show the ultimate love of God for those we despise. It is only when we throw away our iconoclastic views and embrace the flow of love that comes from God through Christ can we manifest the remarkable changes that God's grace brings into our lives.
We can change the world, we may not have the will to change governmental policies that create an increasing divide within countries and between countries, but we can change the world by ensuring that the Christian message of love is carried into the future in the hearts and minds of the youngest members of society. We have been poor at undertaking the charge that Christ gives throughout the history of the Church establishment but as individuals it is up to us to ensure that the basis of our own lives within the community, not only of the Church but also of the seculam in which we live In doing this one thing we establish within our families and our communities the true understanding of God's love for us as we manifest God's love in our own communities. In encouraging that love in our youngest through the encouragement of godparents and parents perhaps we will strive towards a better and more loving society.