Acts 10

Acts 10

Cornelius Calls for Peter

Caesarea’s inhabitants included
Cornelius, a man divinely mooded
who happened to be part of Rome’s huge army,
a captain never anything near barmy;
devout was he as were, in fact, all folk
in his mere household -- far above some joke
that might accuse all humans of long staying
quite sure to be sad creatures often straying;
he happily both generously gave
the poor much sustenance & seemed a slave
to offering perfected prayers to God.
Near three one afternoon, when eyes will nod
toward special reveries, he had a vision
in which one heavenly angel sans derision
approached him & addressed him, very loud:
“Cornelius!” Cornelius, so cowed
he almost more than seemed composed of fear,
replied: “Dear sir, what brings you here so near?”
The angel answered: “How you treat the poor
is something God perceives as an allure,
an offering deserving of much note.
Now send some men to Joppa, & let float
strong summons toward a man named Simon Peter
who lives with one more Simon, a completer
of special tanning & a resident
near beaches maybe nearly opulent.”
No sooner had that angel vanished quite
than brave Cornelius with words unslight
required a couple of his household helpers,
plus one devoted soldier, serve like whelpers
of wondrous news; & soon he sent them all
toward Joppa, to declare what worlds let fall.

Peter Visits Cornelius

While those three messengers were traveling
& nearing Joppa Peter chose to bring
his presences atop a roof whose flatness
might niftily support the verbal fatness
his varied prayers would very strongly form
against how some events implied a storm.
High noon then loomed so absolutely large
much hunger had set in & taken charge;
while Peter’s next repast was being made
he drifted in a trance that would not fade,
& suddenly the sky cracked open wide
& let his eyesight feel nigh edified
as something like some huge four-cornered sheet
descended in a manner neat & meet.
Within that sheet throve many forms of life --
beasts, reptiles, & bright birds -- , all sleek & rife;
a voice then said to Peter: “Peter, go,
& slaughter all those creatures till their glow
has had some final opportunity
to feed your stomach highly splendidly.”
“Lord,” answered Peter, “Never once, at all,
have I consumed food whose components fall
outside the purviews of our Jewish laws
as those decree some facts chock-full of flaws.”
That voice, however, spoke again & said:
“Call nothing ‘foul’ which God has left no shred
of sorrow on”; then, three more times repeated,
that selfsame vision saw its force regreeted;
then, all at once, the sheet was pulled toward heaven.
Perplexed, as though hit hard by some strange leaven,
did Peter sense much vast uncertainty
about that vanished vision’s vibrancy,
& at that very moment, those three men
Cornelius sent saw clearly in their ken
the house of Simon & outside its gate
sincerely craved one Simon Peter’s fate;
&, in the meantime, as dear Peter stayed
in puzzlement those visions made remade,
the Holy Spirit said to him: “Three men
have sought you, Peter, time & time again;
now go downstairs, & with scant hesitation
& for whatever adequate duration,
accompany them gladly, since my wishes
decree such action ‘perfect & nonvicious.’”
Indeed, then, Peter, went downstairs & said:
I am the man you’re seeking, & I’m led
toward begging you to tell me truthfully
exactly why you want to speak with me.”
They glibly answered: “We were sent along
by one Cornelius -- a Roman strong,
an officer devoutly full of graces
& liked by sundry Jews in lofty places;
an angel from on high instructed him
to ask you to arrive with ample vim,
in order that he might hospitably
receive from you your new verbality.”
Soon Peter had invited those three souls
to stay the night & sharpen several goals;
the day ensuing saw both him & them,
& other Joppan brothers, strive to stem
all senses of aloofness & apartness,
sad causers of excessive social tartness;
once in Caesarea, that jolly crowd
met with Cornelius & seemed endowed
with possibilities gregarious
that might preclude a world too ominous.
When Peter had set foot inside his house,
Cornelius fell, prostrate, like some mouse
abjectly lost in total scurryings
resembling all of Nature’s sufferings;
yet, Peter gently asked that officer
to practice modes entirely happier;
“Stand up!” he said; “I’m human just like you!”
Thus, with in fact no further large to-do,
those recent visitors all strode inside,
wherein all found effects seemed unified.
Advice from Peter bloomed, in words like these:
“You surely know how laws & verities
long practiced by us won’t permit a Jew
to gain much entry, nor to mar the view,
in any Gentile’s home -- nor ever slightly
to share in ways you live your life politely;
however, God has lately shown to me
I ought to cease opining hostilely
in styles that deem a person or a group
an entity that poisons any soup.
I therefore hastened here immediately
when told you might have some real need of me;
now, please declare how I might prove of use!”
Cornelius’s answer, undiffuse,
harked back to when at three o’clock past noon
some four days previous a quasi-swoon
set in & seemed to blind him utterly.
“Why, all at once” (said he) “in front of me
a man in dazzling clothing stood & spoke;
‘Cornelius, like some strange masterstroke,
feel vastly blessed!’ was how the talk began,
&, soon enough, that selfsame sounding ran:
‘God certainly has noted & esteemed
your charity as such keeps worlds engleamed!
Send messengers to Joppa, & discover
where Simon Peter lives, & he must hover
(at least for now) within the domicile
of one more Simon, known to own the guile
of practicing fine tanning while a dweller
quite near the seashore’; thus, like some impeller
of pure perfection, I soon sent for you,
& that you now are here enshrines life’s view.
We all are gathered, wondrously together,
in hopes you’ll kindly serve as some strong tether
providing us whatever news you have
of how the Lord might be our utmost salve.”

The Gentiles Hear the Good News

Then Peter answered: “I now clearly see
God plays no favorites in mundanity;
in every nation extant on the Earth,
He tolerates all humans full of worth
whose fear of Him pervasively includes
correct intentions couched in kindly moods.
That surely is the message of Good News
for all of Israel -- words worlds might use
to bolster concepts Jesus Christ remains
the source for God’s removing sundry banes,
since Jesus surely is the very Lord
whose potencies should never be ignored!
You’re quite aware of much that soon occurred
throughout Judea once John spread the word,
at first in Galilee, about his styles
of baptism against life’s many trials;
&, furthermore, you genuinely know
of God’s anointing Jesus, whose main glow
seemed Nazarene, with total kinds of power
that made pure Holiness all truth’s endower;
then Jesus went from place to place & fashioned
much goodness that included ways impassioned
that quickly healed assorted populations
oppressed by Satan’s goadings ‘gainst great nations.
And all of us apostles could attest,
in grand regard, to ways in which our zest
within Judea & Jerusalem
let flesh bespeak large forms of diadem;
Him they did kill by hanging on some cross,
yet God in three mere days repaired that loss
by letting Him rebreathe, then show His powers
to us again, who’d known Him through long hours.
He had already shared both drink & food
when, having quite regained His former mood
& thriving richly, He had ordered us
to preach His Word without one jot of fuss
so far & wide that every soul might sense
how fully Jesus counters each offense
opposing godliness & is a judge
whose tendernesses bid no glory budge.
He first & last, we all might testify,
has strengths that force all forms of death to die,
so every breathing entity on Earth,
along with lives deceased, might know the mirth
that once apparently permitted life
to seem &, yes, to be, bereft of strife –
so much so that with helps from God’s mere name
some total terminus might end all shame.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

As Peter thus was preaching ardently
the Holy Spirit showed much harmony
by visiting the group’s assembled strength
as every heart was liking each word’s length;
those Jewish converts who arrived with Peter
seemed awed by God as ‘greeter & completer’ –
a force who let mere Gentiles understand
so deeply their strange talk had large command
of life’s full godliness; then Peter asked:
“Would anybody feel too overtasked
by being baptized, now that one & all
have joined us in the very rich nonsquall
of taking in the Holy Spirit’s powers
as those provide through umpteen days & hours?”
He soon gave orders for the ritual
(entirely likely to prove beautiful)
of baptizings devoutly aimed toward Christ,
&, after celebrations seemed sufficed,
Cornelius quite cordially requested
his skill for hospitality be tested.


Back to top