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“What Peter Said About What Peter Saw”
The Sixth Sunday of Eastertide
“Then Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these Gentiles, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
One imagines that those words, which Peter said at the end of Acts chapter ten, would never have crossed his mind at the beginning of Acts chapter ten, when Peter would not even enter the house of a Gentile, until he was persuaded to go by a vision from God.
But, once Peter went, and saw the Holy Spirit in his new Gentile friends, Peter had to change what he said to match what he saw; a small reminder of the simple truth that theology chases friendship.
It happens all the time. Like Peter, we meet someone whose life or faith is different from ours in a way which we had always assumed meant that they were on the outside of the family of God. But, like Peter, once we get to know them, we discover that they have just as much of the Holy Spirit in their life as we have in ours.
And, then, like Peter, we get to change what we say to match what we see.