Daily Devotions – Unity in Christ

Daily Devotions – Unity in Christ

Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash


Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:


Acts 10:24-48 (NIV)
24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” 27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” 30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him. 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.


What do you think Peter and Cornelius were thinking about each when they first meet?


I imagine that Peter and Cornelius met each other with curiosity. Both men responded to Your call and both were waiting in anticipation to learn what You had planned. Once they realized that each had a divine vision to bring them together, they were connected through You. Together they created a conduit to open hearts to Your Holy Spirit. There are many versions and variations of Christianity today. Not only different denominations within Lutherans, but there are Catholics, Methodists, Congregational Free, Baptist, and many others. In addition, the way in which each group from various countries worship You may look different. Each group has a slightly different interpretation of Your Word. We, like Peter and Cornelius,  are coming from different places but all are all coming to You, the one true God. You call people from each of the varied Christian segments to open hearts to your Holy Spirit and to do Your will. Individuals from each group listen, respond, and follow Your call. Let us not get hung up on labels or the different approaches, but instead, help us to realize that we are all called by You and that we are all connected to one heavenly family. Your Holy Spirit is stronger united than divided. Rise up Your Christian church, Lord. Let us join together in one united front in prayer and deed to be peacemakers as we seek to lead others to peace with You. Through the strength of our common love for You, let us together bring peace into our homes, places of work, community, and nation. Bring us together to create a conduit to open the hearts to Your Holy Spirit. In the end, it comes down to what You did on the cross for all people; Your resurrection, Your forgiveness, Your mercy, and grace. In eternity each and every flavor of Christianity will be dissolved and we will worship You together as one body. Keep us focused on that day and join together in love to change the world in Your name. Amen