…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.
Thank you for this reminder today, John.
I feel as if you were speaking directly to me because, at times, I am very judgemental about contemporary moral issues and people that I think are ‘wrong’ about their moral values — things I have been taught since childhood that are ‘sinful’ and against Church teaching.
Your words have brought me up short — as they so often do.
I am so blessed to be able to subscribe to your blog, John. It is obvious to me that you are on fire with the love of God and His suffering people and that you are filled to overflowing with His Holy Spirit. You are my unsung hero doing the work of the Lord at a time and in a place mostly forgotton to the rest of the world.