“Cornelius, a Roman army captain, told Peter, ‘I was praying in my house when suddenly, a vision in dazzling clothes stood in front of me and said, “Your prayer has been heard, and God recognizes your gifts to the poor.  Now send for Peter so he may give you a message from God.”

“Then Peter replied, ‘God has shown me in a dream that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.  I now see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.  In every nation, God accepts and loves everyone.’”

From Acts 10:28-35


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This story, which most Bible scholars agree is written by the Gospel Writer called Luke, is often titled “Peter Visits Cornelius.” It invites us to be open to transforming ourselves through divine guidance.
  • To apply this story to our lives, read it from a mystical, metaphysical perspective. Let Peter represent our faith in God and God’s guidance. Let Cornelius represent the aspect of us which desires a richer God-connection.
  • When our faith is assured, we want to follow the divine guidance we receive intuitively.
  • In our sleep or deep meditative prayer, the symbolism of imagination can speak to us. Because we aren’t focused on the literal, we’re receptive to spiritual insight and divine inspiration.
  • Peter realizes from his own dream (Acts 10:14-16) that nothing God creates is impure or unclean. Since Peter already has faith in God, he agrees to meet Cornelius, even though they ordinarily wouldn’t associate with one another. In turn, Cornelius, as he’s guided, seeks Peter’s presence and wisdom.
  • Together, Peter and Cornelius have a shared vision—one realized because they’re willing to shift their thinking. With a heightened spiritual awareness that God loves all people and excludes no one, they’re encouraged to live differently than they have before.
  • Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., a psychologist of religion, dream researcher, and author of several books on dreams, including Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History, says our dreams provide “a healthy, dynamic balance between consciousness and the unconscious” when we surrender our ego and linear thinking. He explains that dreams can guide us “on a path towards becoming a more integrated self” and “give us glimpses of our own future growth” (“Jung’s Theory of Dreams: A Reappraisal,” Psychology Today, March 23, 2020).

Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • What have I been trying to resolve or decide with only my ego or linear thinking?
    • List, word map, or illustrate whatever applies.
  • In what ways am I receptive to divine guidance?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all the ways you feel receptive.
  • in what ways am I receptive to viewing a person, situation, and/or belief differently than I previously have?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all the ways you feel receptive.
  • As I reflect on any decisions I want to make, how have my dreams or deep meditations been showing me a way?
    • List, word map, or illustrate whatever images or ideas surface, even if they’re only fragments.
  • When I reflect on the personal growth and transformation I truly desire, what are at least three (3) ways I can nurture and honor my intuition?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
    • Then, note what you’ll do to make them a life-long commitment.

When working with this devotional, sit quietly and breathe deeply into your heart space.  Rather than force anything, focus on your breath and let your mind relax.

Also, consider journaling your dreams, if you don’t already.  Even if you can’t recall every detail, certain impressions and scenes can become familiar, helping you heal the past, so you can live fully in the present.  In addition, remember that dreams can offer answers to our prayers, providing us with clarity and assurance.  So, stay open to your dreams’ guidance as you move forward in faith to transform yourself and the world around you.

© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Photo by Martin Mehes from Shutterstock.

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