We have all heard that patience is a virtue. It is, as Martin Luther once claimed, "the most excellent of virtues… Although philosophers also greatly praise it, they are nevertheless ignorant of its foundation and cannot base it on the will and help of God" [like we do] (What Luther Says, p. 1024). We surely need more patience. A 2006 poll by the Associated Press (and little has changed since then) found that 1 in 4 Americans lose their patience waiting in the grocery line and that five minutes on hold on the phone and fifteen minutes in line are about all we will tolerate.
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The bride-to-be was obviously nervous. It was only the rehearsal, but already the pastor could see that tomorrow’s wedding might be in for problems.
“You’re letting it all get to you,” he told her gently, as he pulled her aside. “Just take it one little step at a time. When you get to the door with your father tomorrow afternoon, look only at the aisle ahead of you. You’ve walked it hundreds of times, every Sunday when you come to church. Think only of that.
This story about Peter's mission to the Gentiles continues the account that began in 10:1, and it repeats in greater detail the content of Peter's vision that was already mentioned in 10:9-16. It is a remarkable story, because it treats rather lightly a dispute that was widespread in the New Testament church, the dispute over conditions to be laid upon Gentile converts to the faith.