Taking Up the Challenge
Many Cultures, One Lord is Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary’s annual effort to observe the Martin Luther King holiday. I preached at the service in 2015 just as the Black Lives Matter movement was exploding. There is no official Proper for that service so I could choose my text without considering the other readings. I chose Acts 10 and 11 because I felt the early church’s prejudice over against Cornelius and the Gentiles and the Spirit’s response addressed the issue on our campus. I quoted passages from the entire event; the sermon had no formal theme. I concluded with this:
The story of planet earth since the fall is filled with battles between races and cultures and lifestyles. Today our nation stops for a moment to ponder solutions to these conflicts. In the end, only God’s solution works. The encounter with Cornelius was a critical moment in Peter’s life, and it is critical for us as well. As you remember this story, note the struggle in God’s men and note the power of God’s grace. Note the struggle and confess your sins. Note the power and trust the absolution. Right there is the solution for prejudice, there is the key to outreach and evangelism, and there is the path for your life and your ministry.