Lent 2023 Day 25: Wed 22 Mar
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’
Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked.
The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.’
When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
Cornelius is about to have an amazing privilege – to witness the turning of Peter to worldwide mission. Who better than a Roman centurion to be part of that event!
An angel appears to Cornelius. Greetings. Send for Peter. I’m off. I like angels. They don’t beat around the bush. Cornelius duly sends for Peter. Peter is staying at the house of a man who would not be that popular.
“Tanning hide into leather involves a process which permanently alters the protein structure of skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to decomposition and colouring.
“Before tanning, the skins are dehaired, degreased, desalted and soaked in water over a period of six hours to two days. Historically this process was considered a noxious or “odoriferous trade” and relegated to the outskirts of town.” Wikipedia
Peter may be the acknowledged leader of the Apostles, but he is not above staying in the house of a tanner. He has no idea that a Roman centurion has just sent for him. When a centurion sends for you, you go.
Does your church reach out to the noxious and odoriferous of our world?
How do you serve the unpleasant types in your church neighbourhood?
Father God, I thank you for the example of Cornelius, a devout man with a devout family, prayerful and generous. Awaken my devotion, touch my family with your love, and guide my giving, I pray. Amen.
Devote yourself 1 (This link will not be active before today – I hope it will be today!)