Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 16: Year 2
“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.” (Acts 10: 3 to 8)
This could easily be called the Tale of Two Simons. This passage follows the continuing call on Simon Peter to do the Lord’s work that I talked about yesterday. Simon the Tanner opened his home in Joppa to Simon Peter and he stay with him. Later, Peter falls into a trance and receives a vision. In the vision he sees various animals lowered down on a sheet. He is instructed to kill and eat. Peter still being a reverent Jew refuses to eat food considered unclean, or profane. After all, Peter was in the food business as a fisherman. He is told by a heavenly voice that nothing that God has made is profane. This metaphor about food serves to demonstrate the inclusiveness of God as it pertains to all people. Peter, like Paul, has a call to invite Gentiles into the love of our One God.
Sadly, we still divide ourselves between Jew and Gentile. We are still very discriminatory. God is not. God still sees each one of us as the babies were born to be without looking at what time and people and the toxic social, and cultural environment we live in, have done to us. God does not care if we are American or Indonesian, black or white; rich or poor, gay or straight, male or female, old or young. God loves all of us and wants to host all of us in eternity.
Like Peter, we too should meditate on the love of God to see what sort of trance God might gift us with. Perhaps the Spirit has a message for you today that will cause you to travel to the assistance of another, another who God also loves, as God loves you.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John