Dear Emmaus Family and Friends,
Homily fromOctober 1st.
I think God must love variety. Look at all the different types of plants, animals and people around the world. Look at the variety of languages and cultures. Yet God seems to love them all.
I would guess that some of you, like Cathy and I, have a humming bird feeder in your yard. We only see a humming bird a few times each summer. I guess we just haven't found the right place for it yet. But even without binoculars, I'm sure that all of our visitors are ruby throated humming birds because that's the only variety we have around here. If we were it California, we could see as many as 13 varieties. But Mother nature is so extravagant with her efforts that there are 387 varieties of humming bird around the world.
God seems to love variety.
Often enough, humans don't appreciate God's ways. As a good Jew, Peter was under the impression that God loved the Jews as a chosen people. They alone were supposed to be God's favorites and they weren't supposed to associate with Gentiles. IfPeter were to hang around with Gentiles, he would become unclean himself and have to be purified by the priest.
But God blessed Peter with a dream that taught him about God's love for all people. The extravagant love that God has for all people is the theme of today's reading and of all of Jesus' ministry.
This morning, as two Christian communities praying together, we are giving witness to God's love of variety as well as God's love for all people.
As Christians, we are all disciples of Jesus whose ministry and teachings were all about showing love to everyone. The Conspiracy of Love that Jesus began is meant to shower everyone with proof of God's affection. The way that love is expressed is different in every denomination, every community and even for every person.
Each of us, in our own way, are called to carry God's love into the world and share it with eveyone in the human family, just as Peter did with Cornelius' household.
(These brief remarks were followed by reflections from Rev. Raeanne Rebbe, the pastor of St. Paul's, UCC, our host church. Last Sunday we celebrated a joint service followed by a social.)