Thursday, August 28, 2014

Living the Vision

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.
The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him. The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. On Peter's arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, "Stand up; I am only a mortal." And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, "You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?"
Cornelius replied, "Four days ago at this very hour, at three o'clock, I was praying in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling clothes stood before me. He said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.' Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say." Acts 10:17-33 

Today I begin a new ministry here in Montana. I will be encouraging and developing ministry and leadership among Native peoples. This is a vision given long ago and now finally becoming a reality. Visions don't often give us the instructions for daily life and structures. They inspire us to follow where God is calling us and go where we are sent.

Peter had an amazing vision that told him that, despite all his religious training, there was no one he should call profane or unclean. There was no one outside the reach of God's embrace. His vision gave him the courage to go where he was called and to do what was asked of him. Despite his training and cultural upbringing he was ready to move across all barriers and boundaries. His vision gave him the courage and the change of heart he needed. We are invited today to remember this dreams and visions God has placed on our hearts, and to know these visions from God as the strength and power to move forward day by day.

Today I ask God to help me live into the vision and be a faithful follower and servant where I have been called. May we all take our callings one step at a time and rejoice in the visions we have been given today.

1 comment:

joan yetter said...

I am looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to Montana and am delighted for the resources that will focus on ministry to Native Americans
. The tiny congregation I serve has partnered with a former parishioner's fourth grade class on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer to provide essentials as well as enriching things for the class. We would like to expand on it.