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Fear is Not a Stop Sign. It’s an Invitation.

“… (Peter) fell into a trance. He saw the skies open up. Something that looked like a huge blanket lowered by ropes at its four corners settled on the ground. Every kind of animal and reptile and bird you could think of was on it. Then a voice came: ‘Go to it, Peter — kill and eat.’ Peter said, ‘Oh no, Lord. I’ve never so much as tasted food that was not kosher.’ the voice came a second time: ‘If God says it’s okay, it’s okay.’ This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the skies.” –Acts 10:9-16 (MSG)

Then Peter wakes up to a man knocking on his door. He is lead by God through a servant to Cornelius, the captain of the Italian Guard stationed in Caesarea.

“Peter addressed them, ‘You know, I’m sure, that this is highly irregular. Jews don’t do this — visit and relax with people of another race. But God has shown me that no race is better than any other…” –Acts 10:27-29ish (MSG)

That dream in the earlier verses was what showed him this truth. Racism comes and persists largely through fear. And…

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” — 1 John 4:18

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

God does not want us to abandon fear for God’s health. And God doesn’t want us to embrace “other” people and unfamiliar cultures for God’s benefit. When we do these things, we live richer fuller lives.