Daily reading: 25 September
Keep your mind open to other people's point of view.
Then he heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.’
- Acts 10, 13-14 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
Peter’s vision moves from a trance-like state into a shocking new phase: he is asked to do something that goes against his deepest understanding of Jewish faith and tradition, to kill and eat an unclean animal.
He reacts sharply against this – reminiscent of his gut reactions to Jesus in many gospel stories and, in particular, his unwillingness to hear Jesus saying that he is going to be killed.
Can you think of an equivalent for you? Are there actions or rituals that you would find hard to change? Or maybe you can think of something that you used to hold as sacred, but now see differently.
Think about the deeply held beliefs of another person you know or of a different faith group: are there things they hold dear that you do not agree with?
What guides you in deciding whether a particular practice is of God, or not? Instead of trying to argue that they are wrong, find out more about how they might make this decision in their context – try and see it from their point of view.
In the words of an old Phil Collins song: 'it’s always good to hear both sides of the story'.
If you have a difficult decision to take today, bring this to God in prayer, seeking his guidance. Ask him for the strength to follow the way of Jesus and for the open-mindedness to hear God’s call in new directions.
Today's contributor is the Rev James Hutchings, former Mission Resources Adviser for the Anglican Diocese of Exeter, now Team Rector at Littleham-cum-Exmouth.
Published on 25 September 2017