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Then Peter began to speak:”I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritismbut accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. Acts 10:34-35

This was apparently an aha moment for Peter. It had just never occurred to him that God would accept those from other nations. And why not? The Jews were the chosen people. And especially him, one of the twelve. He was definitely on Jesus’ short list. Why rock the boat (so to speak) when things were going well?

Some years ago I sat around a table at a different church with people earnestly trying to discern the future of their congregation. The question at hand was: What kind of church should we be? I vividly remember the woman sitting next to me saying, “I don’t want to grow. I like things here the way they are.”She was being honest. Change is uncomfortable. Why mess with a good thing?

Today, that church is struggling as are many United Methodist churches. Floris is growing. Changing color. Changing race. Changing language. Changing age. Changing abilities. And I for one love this.

Saturday night I attended the Latino service at Floris. I went with my 21 year old daughter who speaks Spanish. I do not. Reverend Miner was preaching, so I knew there would be some English. The woman doing announcements welcomed visitors, in Spanish then in English. She looked directly at me and smiled. The only other words of English spoken in the service were these to me by a Latino brother and sister:”This is His body, broken for you; this is his blood shed for you.”

On Saturday night I knelt before the cross of Christ between two men whoselanguageI didn’t know.

On Sunday morning I knelt next to a man who knew Italian and Spanish before he learned English.

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. Acts 10:43-44

The Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. I am especially grateful for this. Early on Sunday asI knelt at the communion rail and looked at the cross I felt a breeze from overhead. The leaves of the potted plant near me started to waiver just a bit. It may just have been the air conditioning.

~ Wendy LeBolt

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