OPEN TO GOD
I praise You, Jesus, that You said Your Spirit will guide me into all truth (John 16:13).
Read Acts 10:9–23a
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
Peter at Cornelius’s House
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along.
- Acts 10:19 One early manuscript two; other manuscripts do not have the number.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectCan you remember any times you have felt guided by God’s Spirit?
The significance of today’s reading is likely to pass by modern readers. Peter’s vision of clean and unclean animals seems bizarre, but it marked a huge turning point in Christianity. In Leviticus 11 in the Old Testament, the Israelites were told which animals they could and couldn’t eat. Now, Peter learns that these rules are no longer valid, and he is free to eat anything. No wonder he was shocked (14)!
Peter’s vision had implications way beyond food as tomorrow’s reading will make clear, and it is interesting to note that Peter received this monumental vision whilst in prayer. Indeed, the importance of prayer is emphasized throughout the book of Acts. However, it is something many of us worry we do not do right. It is encouraging, then, to see that Peter seems to have been distracted by a rumbling stomach when he was praying, yet God still spoke powerfully to him! Prayer shows we are open to God and that is more important than how polished our words are. So, don’t wait to be perfect to pray. Instead let God teach you and change you, as He did Peter, through prayer.
How do you usually pray? Today, why not try having a conversation with Jesus? Tell Him about your day, your worries, and favorite moments – just as if you were talking to a close friend.
God, I don’t know if I always pray “right,” but I know that You hear me and You know my heart even better than I do.
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