"When they had heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
I really like this verse. In this chapter and the one before, Peter is shown in a vision that he should help non-Jews to find the truth and baptize them into the church as well. When he comes back from converting a man called Cornelius, the other people in the church question him about Jewish traditions... why did you eat and hang out with those people when we shouldn't be doing things like that? And Peter rehearses what led him there... that Cornelius saw an angel, that a vision from God had told him specifically to do these things, etc. And this verse is where it is amazing. Instead of causing a rift in the church and causing people to doubt or leave... when they heard, they were happy about it, and glorified God, thankful that he was inviting not just them, but the entire world, to know the truth and work toward eternal life. ... I guess the reason that it hit me is that it seems like so often we *aren't* happy about things like that. We want to be special, and exclusive, and better... instead of welcoming everyone else in. It impresses me that these people saw the truth and the incredible goodness of God here rather than arguing and dissembling. I wonder if we can do the same. Today, let's do our best to be inclusive... to invite *everyone* to share the goodness and the blessings that we have. Let's help people reach towards God instead of deciding that some people aren't good enough, or don't deserve it. :)