This is a great story and it is so unknown by most. Indeed it should be the first story told in Sunday Schools across the land and should be the first story told in all the debating chambers of the church and the first story told at every ecumenical meeting and the fist story told when new denominations are thought about and old ones break away: God is universal, everyone is included, even those you thought at first weren't included.
That's the gospel.
Peter has this vision of a great picnic. His stomach rumbles and his lips are licked and he's ready to feast only to discover to huge disappointment that the picnic blanket is full of unclean animals. Typical. However Peter can show some holy righteousness and with false humility holds up his hand as if saying: I can't. I never have, and never will eat of animals that are unclean.
But God says before he's finished his goodie-two-shoes sentence: eat. I've declared it all edible. Peter hardly hesitates and refuses.
God tries to persuade him three times.
The blanket is taken back up to heaven and God shrugs holy shoulders as if to say: Your loss.
It's a story that changes Peters mind about who is included and who is excluded from the church: shall it be just for Jews, for the circumcised, those who eat the right food or is it, as God now wants it to be, for everyone. The rules that divide have been replaced by an open, accepting, affirming, inclusive church.
Thus why this story should be read all the time.
Hymns? How might you read this passage to a congregation to make it more listenable, more ingrained?
See you Sunday.