First, a reminder of why this is here (since we have taken a few weeks away from it)… we are engaging in a process known as “Missional River”, which seeks to help First Lutheran connect to and better know our neighbors and seek our purpose as God’s people in this community. The Missional River process centers on different ‘listenings’. One is listening to God in the Congregation, one is listening to God in Scripture, and one is listening to God in our neighbors. The team will be studying the Book of Acts as part of the listening in Scripture process. Each week in this space there will be a brief reading from the Book of Acts and some notes as well as a question or two to consider. We invite the Congregation to “listen” along with us.
This week we look at a chapter of Scripture where God acted in a way that changed every Christian’s life forever. At least those who are not of Jewish ancestry. Up to this moment, Peter believed that God’s work was limited to the Jewish people, or at least those who fully adopted Jewish traditions. With an encounter with one man followed by a single vision and command, God radically changed how Peter saw the mission of the Church.
Here is a link to an online Bible:
- Peter was a Jewish fisherman turned disciple and apostle of Jesus. Cornelius was a high ranking officer in the Roman army which was a military occupation of Israel. Their backgrounds, culturally, economically, socially and ethnically could not be more different. But what similarities do they share?
- Peter’s reaction to the sheet that God sent down was a “No way! That is not how things are done!” What is something in Church that once felt unthinkable to us in relation to our faith tradition, but that we have since seen God clearly blessing and calling us to, shifting our thinking in the way Peter did? What is something in our present that would be the same?
- Imagine what the other disciples might say about Peter’s decision. He was far outside the ordinary lines. How might he explain this new direction to them?
- In the next weeks, we will be brainstorming ways First Lutheran is called to “Be God’s Church” in our neighborhood. Be in prayer about how we might be pulled in a new direction that we have never seen. Reflect on what will make the people of First Lutheran more like Peter.
- What does “God shows no partiality” mean for First Lutheran? How does this story help us remember that God’s vision for God’s church is always bigger than our own?
Watch the weekly news and this series on the website for some homework that we all need to do so we are ready for our Congregational meeting on February 5th.
For the next session of this study, click http://flcsm.org/?p=225
For the first ‘session’ of this Virtual series, click http://flcsm.org/?p=160