We are sitting here together at Eucharist today all because of what God did a couple thousand years ago. Paul and Barnabas were reporting what God had done with them and how God has opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. I'm assuming that we all are counted among those "Gentiles."
A couple of years ago, students in a classroom decided to take a DNA test and find out what ancestry their blood test would reveal. They were nervous about the possibility of increased discrimination on campus. Only one girl, from China, declined to take the DNA test, saying that while everyone here is of mixed blood, she wasn't and didn't need to have a test to confirm that.
When the results came back, they had a good and warm discussion about what they found. One girl found that she had some Jewish ancestry, and concluded that come late December, she should be singing not only Christmas carols but also Hanukkah songs. One boy found out that he had some African blood in him, and two black guys sitting near him gave him a high-five, saying "Hey, bro!"
Whatever our ancestry, God has opened the door of faith to us all. We can choose how to approach or go in that door, how to live a life of faith - with lots of enthusiasm or with ambivalence, with trust or with fear and anxiety, with gratitude or nonchalance. It makes all the difference in the world how we respond to the door being opened to us, to the love being shown us, to the peace being offered us. During the Easter season, we have reason to praise God even more than usual. But at any time, we can desire more than usual to draw near the Lord.
There's a verse in one of the psalms that leaps out for me: "To live with you is joy, to praise you and never stop" (ICEL translation). It resonates in my heart and mind throughout the day.