By Kevin Himes

In Acts 10, Peter had a dream — a weird dream. Foods that any God-fearing Jew knew to be unclean were no longer off limits. It’s like a vegetarian dreaming of bacon high fiving a cheeseburger while God says, “It’s okay to eat meat now!” Although it seemed ridiculous at the time, Peter’s dream ultimately paved the way for him, a Jew, to see a Roman centurion named Cornelius as a fellow brother in the Lord instead of an unclean Gentile.

God, the mastermind behind the dream, the one who overcame cultural barriers for Peter, is doing the same work today. Just because people don’t look like us, share our last names, eat the same foods, or dress like us, doesn’t give us license to look down our nose at them. Friends, the kingdom of God is a rich tapestry of people of all colors and cultures. We are, in a sense, the coat of many colors that Jacob gifted to his son Joseph. Each color, each people, is sewn into the robe of God’s kingdom.

God’s kingdom is bigger than a cappella singing or contemporary Christian hits. It includes Black gospel taught by ear, and soulful African American spirituals. God’s kingdom is bigger than the white faces and voices behind many of the pulpits in Ohio Conference. It includes dedicated preachers like Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells faithfully preaching the Word at Lee Heights Community Church in Cleveland. God’s kingdom is bigger than a white middle-class perspective. It includes the stories of minorities who experience the world very differently than others do, stories of pain, fear, and oppression. Don’t let those stories go unnoticed. Reach out and companion those who hurt; show the world what righteousness — justice in Jesus — looks like.

Kevin Hines, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, is a member of Grace & Groundings, the racial reconciliation resource team of the Ohio Conference. To learn more about Grace & Groundings, see the Ohio Conference website: