Text: Acts 10:1-16
To remember and give thanks that God hears your prayers
To be prepared for God’s representatives (Hebrews 13:2)
For all who fear and love God, that they may come to the fullness of faith
ST. PAUL IS OFTEN referred to as “The Apostle to the Gentiles,” but it is Peter who gets the ball rolling in this story about the Roman centurion Cornelius.
Cornelius is called a “God-fearer.” This is a term used in Judaism to refer to those Gentiles who join in the worship of the God of Israel and who have adopted, more or less, the religious law that governs Jewish life. While they are not converts, the concept of the God-fearer indicates the person wishes to draw closer to Israel’s God. God-fearers therefore occupied a middle, shadowy place in between the unclean Gentile world and the holy before God world of faithful Jews.
On the other side, Peter also moves into a shadowy place as he falls into a trance under the Lord’s voice. The hungry Peter sees all sorts of food, all sorts of animals that the Jewish kosher laws would say were unfit for consumption—and the Lord commands him to eat. Three times this command comes to Peter, and he awakens from his dream confused and unsure of what to do.
As Peter and Cornelius find each other, let us be reminded of those we may know who are seeking, reaching out to the God of Jesus Christ, who know in their hearts and minds that there is more to life than what is on the surface, who sense that there is something alive and wonderful just beyond their sight, and be ready to give witness to what God is doing in their lives.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks
--Detail, Vision of the Centurion Cornelius by Zanobi Rosi, oil on canvas