Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Called to be the LightActs 10:9-16
V. 15: "The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
As we continue our meditation on this week’s theme, “Called to be the Light,” today’s portion focuses on Peter’s vision. The passage begins with Peter taking a break on his journey to spreading the gospel when he falls into a trance and sees heaven opened with a large sheet let down to earth by its four corners. The sheet contained clean and unclean animals, and a voice told Peter to “Kill and eat.” Initially, Peter replied that he would not, as he had never eaten anything impure or unclean. But the voice spoke to him again and said, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
We know that the greater meaning behind this passage is that the “unclean” and “impure” animals actually symbolize Gentiles. Peter learned that Gentiles were pronounced clean by God, meaning that the barrier between Jewish people and Gentiles had been removed through Jesus Christ. But we see the theme “Called to be the Light” when we study this portion in the greater context of Acts 10. In Acts 10:1-8, we meet Cornelius, a Gentile who was devout and God-fearing. Before Peter saw the vision discussed in verses 9 through 16, Cornelius saw a vision wherein he was to send men to find Peter and bring him back to him. Eventually, once Peter sees the vision, Cornelius’ men find him and bring him to Cornelius. It is at that point that God uses Peter to preach the message that “…God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35). While Peter preaches this message, the Holy Spirit came down on all who heard him, and the believers who came with Peter were able to see Gentiles speak in tongues and praise God, as well as being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (verses 44-48).
Peter’s experience is a beautiful example of how obedience to God’s call allows us to be a light for others. We see in verse 14 that in Peter’s vision, he was initially disobedient to God’s call to “kill and eat,” because he was more concerned with observing the laws regarding clean and unclean animals than obeying God’s command. However, when Peter submitted to God’s call, he was able to be enlightened and became a light to enlighten others. Oftentimes in life, we are called by God to look beyond our own understanding, humble ourselves, and answer God’s true call so that God can enlighten us to be a light to others. Today, let’s practice obedience so that we can be the light God created us to be.
Father, please teach us how to humble ourselves so that we can see Your purpose, answer Your call, and be a light to others.
Thought for the Day
We are lighted to lighten.
St. John's Mar Thoma Church, NY