He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’
Devotion by Anne Mooney
The words from today’s scripture are spoken by Peter. Hewass giving a sermon at the house of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion. Cornelius was a Gentile but was also described as God-fearing. On the day of this scripture passage, Cornelius received a message in a vision. In his vision, an angel asked him to send for Simon Peter. Meanwhile, Peter had a vision of his own. In his dream the voice of God told him to eat food that is not considered kosher. Peter argued with God, but was told, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” So Peter travelled to visit Cornelius in Joppa and wound up baptizing Cornelius, his family, and his servants, bringing these Gentiles into the Christian community of believers that was beginning to form after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven.
This story illustrates the reasoning behind the radical welcome we believe God wants us to offer at PUCC. According to Peter, God has commanded us to preach to the people…that would be all people, not just the Jews or the rich or some other clique. Peter says God wants us to teach the people about Jesus. Peter assures us that Jesus is the one who God has given the power determine who is clean or unclean. Jesus only asks that we believe in Him to be forgiven and to have a place in God’s kingdom.
Dear God, Your message is so simple. Everyone has a place in your kingdom. Thank you.