There is little doubt Peter’s experience with Cornelius brought the reality of reconciliation in Jesus to bear on his understanding of the way the world works. Old lines had been crossed. Former systems keeping people at bay had been formally challenged and practically outmoded. Surely this would be unsettling. Just how is this possible?
Restorative love. Peter may have recalled how Jesus reconstituted his own little world when on the beach he invited him to participate in the mission of God right where he was – not after he had matured. There was still much growing for Peter. Facing his own fears as he followed the lead of the Spirit to visit Cornelius he had to know that no one, even Gentiles, were outside of the love of God if he himself could be reconciled.
John receives in a final vision the collapsing of heaven and earth into the complete reign of God. Echoing the words on the cross, “It is finished,” the One on the throne declares, “It is done.” Reminiscent of Jesus offer to drink and never thirst, the One on the throne declares freedom to drink from the river of life. Love’s final move is the overtaking of all things in the fulfillment, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Here are some thoughts in response to a question I received last Sunday, “How do we participate in reconciliation?” My short answer – “Love.” Listen in. What are your thoughts?