Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

July 27, 2017

I think I shall borrow a slogan from an old Microsoft Windows commercial this morning, “Where do you want to go today?”

            That old slogan popped into my head while I was reading Acts 10 earlier this morning.  There is a shocking verse that opened the windows of my mind:

            “The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too (Acts 10:45 NLT).”

            Yes, I know. On the surface it does not read like much!

            But, oh my want a statement!  And, it makes the slogan, where do you want to go today, very relevant.

            Back in the day a Roman soldier by the name of Cornelius was just doing his job, minding his own business when an angel of God showed up and knocked his socks off. The angel stated that God had noticed his kindness and generosity; and, now God was inviting him to a party (Acts 10:4-7).

            Hold the phone! Cornelius was all wrong!

            He was not Jewish! He was not educated in Hebraic law. He was not of the right birth or station. In fact, he would have been considered nothing more than a commoner.

            Furthermore, Cornelius was a soldier serving his country in a foreign land, standing guard over many of these very same Jews that God had chosen in the first place!

            But…and it’s a big one, God sent an angel to Cornelius to invite him to a grand party!

            He was that Gentile referenced in Acts 10:45 who started the whole thing! The Holy Spirit was now spilling over, sloshing over actually, issuing invitations right and left to anyone who would accept it to join the party.

            Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.   In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.  This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (Acts 10:34-36 NLT).”

            The phrase odd bedfellows comes to my mind. Never in a million years would one expect to see a Roman soldier hanging out with a lowly Galilean fisherman and both are going to the same grand party together!

            What in the universe could assemble such an odd couple? The only incentive possible is the name of Jesus.

            We may disagree with others’ religious polity, moral choices, lifestyles, generational mores, cultural practices, Microsoft or Apple or the choice of carpet color! Even so, the name of Jesus calls us to spacious living.

            And, we serve the Master who issues invitations willy-nilly for us to attend a party that is nothing short of the of the greatest show on earth.  The name of Jesus overrules all of life.

            If we are very honest within our heart of hearts, none of us will agree on everything all the time. Not even blood kin can pull this off (Cain and Abel).

            Even so, Christ invites us to a party that shifts the very priorities by which we live our lives. At the end of the day, we grasp that the only thing that we can agree on is the one name who has the power to literally save our lives: Jesus.

You were the Word at the beginning,

            One with God the Lord most high

Your hidden glory in creation,

            Now revealed in you our Christ.

What a beautiful name it is…

            What a beautiful name it is…

The name of Jesus Christ my king.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5L6QlAH3L4

(What a Beautiful Name, Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood, 2016)

            The invitation to the party was sent out centuries ago.  The only question is will we attend?

            So, where do you want to go today?  

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