Daily reading: 20 September
Give to your community.
In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God.
- Acts 10, 1-2 New Revised Standard Version . Click here to read the King James Version
It’s easy to be fearful of foreigners and even more so when they are part of an occupying army. Yet looked at from Cornelius’ point of view, his actions are amazing.
He is far from home, part of an occupying force, among a people who do not want him there. He will have been schooled to crush opposition. However here he is, giving generously to those in need and in continual prayer.
But there is another hero, unnamed in the story: who had brought him to such faith? Was it a fellow Roman or a Jew he had encountered? Who are the unnamed people in our journey of faith?
Think about people in your neighbourhood who help others and build up the community, but are not from our faith or background.
What can you do to join in and support them? Are there groups of people who you naturally distrust or fear? Perhaps it is time to look beyond the label to the God-created human inside.
Lord, we pray for all people of goodwill who serve in armed forces far away from home. We remember in particular British service men and women in places like Afghanistan. We ask that they may follow the example of Cornelius in knowing you in prayer and giving to those facing poverty today.
Today's contributor is the Rev James Hutchings, former Mission Resources Adviser for the Anglican Diocese of Exeter, now Team Rector at Littleham-cum-Exmouth.
Published on 20 September 2017