Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Acts 10:1-8 (NRSV)
In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. One afternoon at about three o’clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.” He stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” He answered, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.” When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his slaves and a devout soldier from the ranks of those who served him, and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa.
The life of Cornelius was more than a little complicated. He was a Roman army officer in an occupied land. Yet, we find that instead of being the hard, unyielding Roman that persecuted the Israelites, like Saul, he was generous and kind, and the people respected him. He was a praying man, and even though he was not an Israelite, he believed in Jesus Christ. I am sure that Cornelius was met with skepticism at times.
There are people we don’t think would ever seek God, but even the least likely, such as Cornelius and even Saul, have sought the grace of Jesus Christ and the love of God. Cornelius shows us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for ALL people and people everywhere yearn to believe. Cornelius also reiterates that God meets us where we are and that no matter where that may be, God loves us and wants us to share in God’s love, grace, and mercy. From the lowliest of prison convicts to the highest of church officials, all are welcome before God.
Absolute God, thank you so much for loving us, forgiving us, and showing us every day why we matter. We can never do enough to earn your love, but you freely give it to us every hour of every day. May we glorify you in all we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Go with God!