The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Acts 10:9–16, ESV
We do not necessarily see things as God sees things. This is a good reminder for us. Peter, a faithful Jew first, believed and held fast to what was taught to him by the Bible. He sought to be faithful to God. When challenged with his assumptions of what he understood to be upright, Peter listened to God. In Acts, we find God’s saving hand at work for all creation. Like Rahab and Ruth, we see how God grafts in those He had previously not chosen into His salvation. It is God who decides and makes us clean. Prior to this, the belief was that Christianity was only for the Jews, but now the door was opened for the Gentiles. Not everyone will be grafted in, but all of us who seek God and His Will. When we trust in the Holy Spirit and pray, God meets us. We are not saved because we perfectly follow the rules, but because One did and took the Cross for us. The grace we receive is undeserved. Any that do things contrary to God’s Will and God’s Law is unclean and can not enter into God’s glory, but it is only through Christ and His sacrifice that any are made ready and redeemed. This is not something that we choose, but it is through God’s choosing. This is as true today as it was when Peter had his vision. Prior to this, Peter never would have entered Cornelius’ home by choice, but God chose a Roman Centurion not because he had earned the right but because God knew his heart and brought him in. We must be ever mindful of the cleansing work our Lord does in the hearts of many and how He restores those the world would see as unclean. This is not done through any work of culture and does not undo the Law of God, but it is a sign of the fulfillment of the Law through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for all of Creation.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.