In Acts 10, we read the story of Cornelius and Peter as each was prepared by God to be a part of proclaiming God’s peace in a changing world. The story expounds the glory of the gospel in its inclusiveness. It tells how God removed a significant barrier so that the two men could come together within God’s love, through the saving work of Jesus Christ and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The story is based on two visions, both given by God.
Read Acts 10:1-8.
Cornelius, a centurion, was a working officer, experienced and well informed. One hundred foot soldiers were in his command. Described as a “devout man,” he likely attended the synagogue and accepted the ethical monotheism of Jews but did not keep the entire Mosaic law. After his initial terror at seeing the angel in his vision, he had no problem carrying out the assignment given him.
Questions to consider:
Who gets to decide who is devout?
Are we tempted to decide that people might not be devout—might lack a relationship with God—because they do not worship as we do, do not talk as we do, do not pray as we do?
Please pray for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit, being held this week. This message was adapted from “The Story of Peter & Cornelius: An Anti-racism Bible Study on Unity” resource written by Inez Torres Davis and available from the Women of the ELCA.