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Acts 10:17-23a, Peter and Cornelius

Friday, April 20

Listen and Learn

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

opposites attract

God had stirred the hearts of two very different men -- Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, and Peter, a Jew and follower of Christ. God knew these men had to come together to begin the hard work of reconciling the nations under one God -- the triune God. For this to work, both had to be open to hearing the stories of the other. And both had to be willing to change for the sake of the other. No easy tasks. 

We have a long way to go before we live in a world under one God. We will never get there if our tactics are force, hatred, fear, oppression, or an unwillingness to be moved. We will only become united under God by summoning the courage to hear the stories of the other, and to become willing to change for the sake of the other. If we want Muslims to know Christ, for example, then we also need to be willing to learn about Allah. If we want Atheists to believe in a higher power, then we need to be willing to understand what motivates someone to lose faith in something or someone bigger than them. There is no movement when either party is unwilling to listen and learn. Who knows? Your own faith might be strengthened by learning of the faith traditions of someone quite different from you.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 10:17-23a

Now while Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly the men sent by Cornelius appeared. They were asking for Simon’s house and were standing by the gate. They called out to ask whether Simon, who was called Peter, was staying there.

While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look, three men are searching for you. Now get up, go down, and go with them without hesitation; for I have sent them.” So Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?” They answered, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging. 

Earlier Event: April 19
Acts 10:1-16, Peter and Cornelius
Later Event: April 21
Acts 10:23b-33, Peter and Cornelius