…who was I to be able to hinder God?
Acts 11: 17
Peter is explaining to the Jerusalem church why he baptized and then ate with gentiles. They were scandalized by his actions, breaking the law. But Peter reminded them:
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?
When I read this, I recalled the remark of Pope Francis in his free-wheeling interview on the place returning to Rome from Brazil:
If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them?
God judges the heart; God looks beyond our narrow prejudices and pre-judgments.
Does our concern for law hinder the mercy of God?
Does our concern for preserving doctrinal orthodoxy hinder the truth of God?
Does my concern for what I consider right hinder the work of God in the world?
God is greater than our minds and our hearts.
Is my heart open to God – or do I judge and separate people into “us” and “them”?
But Jesus wants one flock with one shepherd.