The Book of Acts that follows the four gospels is full of miraculous stories – of visions and healings that sound impossible to us who live in a world where concrete evidence and witnesses must accompany everything. This morning’s lesson from Acts concerns Peter’s vision of all kinds of animals that God was commanding Peter to slaughter and eat. Peter demurred saying he would not do so because “nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.” (ACTS 11:1-18) The response came quickly that “what God has made clean, you are not to call profane.” Following that directive cost Peter a lot because it contradicted Jewish law, but his steadfast obedience was essential to the growth of Christianity.
We live in a time when inspiration is calling from many quarters for us to go deeper than logic to find answers to great questions. We are being asked (rather like Peter) to broaden our capacity for what we have eschewed in the past on religious or cultural grounds. Just as Peter was directed to go beyond a religious law that separated Jew from Gentile, so too are we coming to understand that the embrace of people of other faiths does not weaken our own beliefs but strengthens them and allows acceptance of persons in the process. Furthermore a renewed openness to alternative healing methods rather than what we call “traditional” modalities in health care has opened up the possibility of a more holistic view of life. While we marvel at the advances in science – miraculous in themselves, to be sure – we can benefit from the benefits of energy work and complementary therapies for wellness that can co-exist with our visits to the doctor. Moreover, a consciousness of medical intuitives and other spiritual practitioners can teach us that it is not enough to be aware of bodily concerns. We need to heed the totality of body, mind and spirit in our quest for wellness and trust our capacity for participation in our own healing process. All this leads me to question myself:
How willing am I to be healthy? When will I get serious about maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime? How willing am I to listen to those who offer new ideas about modalities that can help me to live fully in body, mind and spirit? Do I accept and welcome everyone I meet? How do my attitudes play into my personal health plan?
Big questions…and extraordinary possibility ahead if I am willing to attend to the answers.