March 1, 2019
Prayers and Gifts to the Poor
March 1, 2019
In the next section of Deuteronomy 9, Moses goes from sounding like the coach to sounding like a weary parent who has worked so hard, sacrificed so much, and
Acts 10:1-8 is the beginning of the familiar story that ends with the revelation to Peter that no one is excluded from God’s grace, not even a foreigner, a centurion in the enemy’s army. These verses focus on Cornelius, who provides a quiet, devout contrast to the “stiff-necked people” Moses addressed. Cornelius lacked one thing: the baptism that is the mark of the Christian who lives and dies and lives again with Christ. His personal piety was exemplary, but he longed to be taken
The words of the angel to Cornelius about his care for the poor as a “memorial offering” are echoed a century later in Rome when Justin Martyr is about to be executed for refusing to participate in the Roman rituals of burnt offerings to the gods. He explains to the emperor that Christians worship the God of creation and burning what God has created is wrong. Instead, he explains, with songs of thanksgiving we enjoy the meal God provides and share what we have with the poor. “To feed the poor is to put food into the mouth of God more surely than burning up the offering.” May our worship be pleasing to God.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FIELD
- Cornelius already believed in God and was living an exemplary life. What more did he need? Why did he need for Peter to come to him?
- John Wesley thought sanctification (loving God and neighbor) was a conversion that took place over our whole lives. What did Peter still have to learn, even as he was called to teach Cornelius?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What is a covenant? God instructs Moses to bring the people “the tablets of the covenant” (Deut 9:11). What is on the tablets?
- Do we have a covenant with God today?
God of all ages, we stand on your promises through good times and through