God or the voice Peter identifies as God repeatedly asks Peter to break religious rules. To have the voice God urging members of the chosen people to transgress so-called divine law seems paradoxical. It turns their world upside down. At worst, it exposes a place or places where a particular belief is inconsistent. God -- not Peter -- is advocating radical change --- change which is antithetical to longstanding beliefs. If that had been the end of Peter’s vision, everything may have been alright. Nothing could be further from the truth as revealed in the rest of the story.
In a world filled with division and strife, where what we are not is the most important label we wear, what gift could the followers of Jesus be to the world by embodying what it means to dwell together in unity? Practicing true community may be the primary way that we can show the world the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
We do not have to ignore the things that distinguish us. But we are called to not allow them to distract us from the task of modeling the power of true oneness and community before the world. Our differences of whatever kind enrich us, they do not diminish us. Our differences can be pathways to conversation and relationship not roadblocks to community. Maya Angelou is a distinguished poet. She happens to be an American but she belongs to the world. She says about our human experience “we are more alike than unalike.”