Dreaming in Joppa

Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148

Many Christians can name the hour and the place of their salvation. For me it was answering not one but two altar calls at Billy Graham crusades in the 1960s. For Reinhold Niebuhr, who was asked if he could name the time and place of his salvation, it was “2,000 years ago on a dusty hill named Golgotha outside Jerusalem’s wall.”

In the spirit of Niebuhr’s calculation, perhaps we can say that Acts 11:1-18 also qualifies as one of those timeless and defining moments in human salvation that is determinative in every Christian’s life. What is described in Acts is the move from sectarian Judaism to a faith that is open to all of us whose lineage is not Jewish but gentile. We have the drive and movement of the Holy Spirit to thank for this.


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