Among the achievements of Nelson Mandela is the way he won freedom and reconciliation for South Africa. He brought a racist regime to its knees. He did it by love and acceptance. His goal was not a black or a white South Africa, but a united South Africa. In taking that approach, he followed Christ’s teaching that we should turn the other cheek. In refusing to retaliate, he took a giant step toward breaking down the wall that separated the people of South Africa. During the first century, another entrenched wall was the gulf between Jews and Gentiles. But after God gave Peter that rooftop vision of four-footed animals that God declared were clean, Peter got the message. He entered the home of the Gentile Cornelius and declared, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism, but in every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.” Peter went on to tell the Gentiles that by accepting Jesus the Christ, they would be accepting the person whom God appointed as the Savior and Judge of all humanity. Around and because of Him, all God’s people unite and accept one another. Since Christ died to create one body, we who are members of that body ought to affirm and show it by our love and acceptance of all God’s children, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, economics, or educational level.
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