Psalm: 69
Old Testament: Isaiah 56:1-8
New Testament: Galatians 5:16-24

The Baptism of Cornelius

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
besides those already gathered.* (Isaiah 56: 6-8)

When I first read this passage I wondered how it would have been heard in its original context. It seems a pretty dramatic statement that–all of a sudden–Gentiles are accepted into the covenant.

For those Jewish people who were taught about the special election of Israel, this was a turn-around from everything they had learned. It was something new and even offensive.

I wonder if the Church sometimes gets confused by the same kind of pronouncements and movements of the Spirit. What if the things that offend, frustrate, and annoy us be God’s way of making us pay attention??? To think about things in a new and radical way??? +