May 31, 2015
Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God of radical transformation, you taught Peter to look at the world in a whole new way. Teach us to see the world through your eyes, so that we might love and care for all people, for the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” Acts 10:15
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Peter, like all of the first disciples, is a faithful Jew. Jewish law forbade the eating of certain animals deemed “unclean” and specified how “clean” animals must be butchered and prepared. Many of these restrictions are found in Scripture, especially in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Further restrictions were developed later. These dietary restrictions became one way Jews distinguished themselves from Gentiles (non-Jews). Jews could not eat food provided by Gentiles, so table fellowship was difficult, and even discouraged.
Peter’s resistance to eating unclean food was an indication of his hesitance to welcoming Gentiles. Yet at the end of his vision, God sent exactly the people he needed to meet; the servants and a soldier of a centurion of the Italian Cohort. It was a word from God that Peter had to let go of his old ideas and see the world in a whole new way. Perhaps we too, can begin to let go of our old ideas so that we might see the world through God’s eyes.
Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow the stories of early believers and missionaries.
Sunday, Acts 10:1-17, 34-35, Peter’s Vision
Monday, Acts 10:18-43, Peter’s Vision
Tuesday, Acts 10:44-48, Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
Wednesday, Acts 11:1-18, Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem
Thursday, Acts 11:19-30, The Church in Antioch
Friday, Acts 12:1-19, Peter in Prison
Saturday, Acts 12:20-25, The Death of Herod
Why do you think early believers put themselves into dangerous situations for the sake of the Word?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- What is considered taboo in your community? What has become mainstream that you wish was still taboo? Why?
- How can you honor God in a new way this week? What can you do or refrain from doing to respect God?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Plant flowers or other plants as a remembrance of people who have been imprisoned for their beliefs. Pray for countries who imprison people for believing in Christ.
Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God who declares grace, move us past differences to see you at work in all people’s lives. We need your word today. Help us hear it with open hearts. Amen.
Adapted by Lorinda H. M. Hoover, from material which is Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Banner image from Creationswap.com. Used by permission.