How do you feel about raves and body piercings? If the thought of them makes you feel uncomfortable, then perhaps this post is for you.
In the previous post we studied Peter’s bizarre dream about a blanket of animals dropping down from heaven. The animals were all deemed unclean by a list in the Jewish Law, but in the dream God tells Peter to kill and eat, as God was now declaring all food clean. It is hard for us to put ourselves in Peter’s shoes at that moment. But let’s try to imagine how unsettling God’s vision might have been for Peter, a man who had never in his life eaten.
Enter a thought project with me. As you read, imagine that you are sleeping and dreaming or you could be having a vision. Whatever it is, the images are vivid. Almost real. You’re in a room, and it’s lighting is somewhat dark. Music and lights pulsate rapidly. You feel uncomfortable. This is not your kind of establishment. The room is full of people dancing, and it is not your kind of dancing. Not your kind of people. You want to leave. You wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like this. Your morals, your upbringing, everything about your life says, “Get out of here.” But you can’t move. You can’t close your eyes. You can wake up. It’s like a nightmare. You have no choice but to be there and take it all in. The smell of drugs. The tattoos. The garish outfits. The pounding music. And the piercings. These are the kind of people with all manner of body piercings. You feel extremely uncomfortable.
Then you notice right next to you is a table and a chair. The table has all kinds of jewelry, that kinds commonly used in body piercing. By the chair is a person with machinery. Without question, you know what they are there for. To do the piercing. Now you want to run out of there more than ever.
That’s when you hear an unmistakable voice. It is the voice of God, and the voice says to you, “Sit down, my beloved, and be pierced.” The person there who does the piercing holds up a piece of jewelry that connects the nose to the ear with a chain that hangs down across the cheek. You cry out, “Surely not, Lord! I would never do that. Only unclean or impure people would do that!” And the voice responds: “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
How do you feel now? Some of you might be thinking, “No big deal…let’s go do it right now!” But my guess is a bunch of you might be feeling uncomfortable. I know I am. If God asked me to pierce my nose and ear and wear a piece of jewelry that connected it, I would seriously question the voice I just heard. I don’t think those things are evil or wrong, they just aren’t for me personally. Peter thought eating unclean meat was wrong.
So God needs to step in and remind Peter of what Jesus already taught back there in Mark 7. Peter already knew this? It seems so, and we’ll look at that tomorrow.