Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Acts 10:23-33 (NRSV)
So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him. The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. On Peter’s arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, “Stand up; I am only a mortal.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?”
Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock, I was praying in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling clothes stood before me. He said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say.”
It might be easy for us to overlook, but Peter is really walking by faith. He is obeying God’s directions to go to this group of strangers but has no idea what for. How many divine inspirations die while Christians try to figure out God’s complete plan instead of acting on the guidance we have already been given?
Cornelius is also acting in faith. He only knows that God has given Peter a message for him. Can we even imagine what it’s like to have never heard of Jesus? My whole life has been grounded in The Way, Truth, and Life. Cornelius had no clue. There are many people like Cornelius in the world who seek God as best they can but know nothing of how God seeks them in Christ Jesus.
Our pericope doesn’t cover it, but I must note what happened as these two groups of people gathered under the direction of God. Peter suddenly realized that God was extending salvation to the Gentiles and was no doubt amazed to be given a part in it. Peter preached a simple message: the Gospel in seven verses (Acts 10:36-43). As Jesus is glorified, the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles, and they are saved. None of this would have happened if people had not acted on the little part they knew. Faith is always a walk in the dark.
Lord God, as we have followed You in the past, we have experienced You do amazing and wonderful things! Thank you for letting us play a part! We pledge ourselves anew to obey; even if we don’t fully understand what You are up to.
Go with God!