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.
- Acts 10:1-2
Cornelius stood on a huge fault line in the ancient world. On one side stood the Roman Empire, with its forced peace enforced by powerful armies. On the other side stood the Jews and the God-fearers (non-Jews who worshipped the Jewish God). The divides were deep, the barriers were firm and the struggle was real.
But here we see Cornelius and his family: God-fearers but still part of the Roman military machine. In the next two weeks, we’ll take some time to look at the powerful work God did to include Cornelius and his family into the community of the people of God.
We’ll see how God sent Cornelius a dream about a man named Peter. And we’ll see how God sent Peter to Cornelius with a message about Jesus. And we’ll see how difficult it was for Peter to go.
Throughout human history, fault lines have appeared and divided humanity. When we hear about the divide between Roman military and God-fearers, we hear a story that has been echoed again and again throughout history. In our own community, there are divides along lines of race, class, politics, neighborhood, marital status, age, ACC allegiance, religion, education … you name it.
Take a few minutes today to name a few of those divides. Pray that God would continue to do his good work of breaking through the walls that separate humanity.