“The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was pulled up again to heaven. Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found the house and stood outside at the gate. They asked if this was the place where Simon Peter was staying.” (Acts 10:16-18)
One man, a Roman soldier, was praying, trying to understand God. Not being Jewish, all he had known were idols and many different gods. Yet, he was drawn to the beauty and simplicity of the Jewish faith. Suddenly, he had a vision that terrified him. An angel appeared to Cornelius and gave him specific instructions to seek out a man in a city over thirty miles away.
Another man, one of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples, was sitting on the flat roof of a house overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. As he was waiting for lunch to be served, he was praying under the warm midday sun and possibly dozed off, having a vivid dream. In his dream, God told Peter to do something that was forbidden by the Jewish Law that God Himself had established. Instead of waking up refreshed, Peter woke up confused and perplexed about his dream. Was God testing him and his faithfulness to the Law?
As Peter was trying to sort out what his vision meant, men from the Roman centurion showed up at Peter’s front door. Peter’s dream was unlocked when he met the centurion Cornelius. Cornelius’ vision and Peter’s dream came together and the Gospel was taken to a new group of people. The meaning of Peter’s vision only became plain when it was connected to Cornelius’ vision.
This story is a great illustration of the importance of community. Our stories are intertwined. We are connected to each other. We find our meaning in each other’s destiny. Our dreams are each other’s dreams. Who are you connected with?
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