If it had not been for three visions sent by God, Peter would have been reluctant to visit Cornelius and his family. Even though Cornelius was a devout man who feared God, he was a centurion, a Gentile. He spoke a different language. Until the visions, Peter assumed that Cornelius was none of his business. Can you sense Peter’s awkwardness when he told Cornelius, “God commanded us to preach?and to testify.” In other words, I’m only here because God sent me.
My wife and I live in a town of 3000. When we moved here, the population was mostly retired farmers and their adult children who do not farm but instead commute to their jobs. Now we meet seasonal farm workers from Mexico and well-educated health workers and agriculturists from India and the Philippines. Mostly devout Christians, some are Muslim or Sikh. They are away from home. They are lonely, hungry for a welcoming word, ready to make a new home and new friends.
Invite them into your home and church. Ask them about their Easter customs, and say “Yes” when they invite you to join them. Talk about our cross-cultural God.
Jesus, thank you for commanding us to make cross-cultural visits. Amen. — DAR