This week’s article is written by the Rev. Jim Wheeler, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
“Then Peter began to speak to them: I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all.” – Acts 10:34-36 (NRSV 1989).
Jesus’ disciples were a diverse lot. They were mostly fishermen but included a tax collector, a zealot and a betrayer: each with their own personality. Taking Jesus at his word, they traveled throughout the known world with the gospel of Jesus. Philip baptized an Ethiopian eunuch. Thomas traveled to India. No region, empire, tribe, culture or language deterred them: no partiality, bias or preference.
However, the “Lord of all” part resulted in their martyrdom. While God shows no partiality, the human race certainly does. Religious, national, political, cultural, racial, class, indeed all the powers of this world resist change and reinforce the boundaries of partiality.
Today, on issues like migrations and immigration, we see these powers and challenges of partiality at work. How do we pray for doing what is right and acceptable to Jesus, Lord of all?