I was chatting with a friend who has been fostering children for some years now. Her words have been bouncing around in my head ever since: “I guess my view of family has just expanded. I don’t get to make the legal decisions, but there’s a place for them here in my family.” My love felt small and stingy in comparison to that perspective.
In Acts 10, we see Peter called by God to bring the Gospel to a group of Roman soldiers — gentiles. Up until this point, Peter’s work had been focused solely on bringing the good news of Jesus to the chosen Jews. But now he is asked to act as the human invitation for outsiders to become insiders so that the foreign might become family. Even Peter doesn’t believe it at first. This passage gives us a good look into the heart of our God, and it is that all humanity be His children and choose Him as their Father. Peter has access to the family, and we see him obedient in opening that access to others.
In both the instances of Peter with the Roman soldiers and my friend with her foster babies, it was an experience that led to inclusion. The expansion of our invitation hinges on us being welcoming to inconvenience and willing to include. When do we refuse inconvenience? Who do we not include?
Let not fear or lack of concern leave us stingy with our invitation to others. We are not responsible for their response to the invite, only that we always save space for them at our table.
Let’s spend some time in honest self-reflection asking God to show us who we can better include and invite as brothers and sisters in the family of humanity.
Father, let us love without abandon as you showed us in your son Jesus.