Daily Worship

And you will see visions

Dr Iain Jamieson June 02, 2023 2 0
Image credit: Unsplash
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Acts 10: 1-16 (NRSVA)

1 In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. 2 He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. 3 One afternoon at about three o’clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius.’ 4 He stared at him in terror and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ He answered, ‘Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter; 6 he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.’ 7 When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his slaves and a devout soldier from the ranks of those who served him, 8 and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa.

9 About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 Then he heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 14 But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.’ 15 The voice said to him again, a second time, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 16 This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

Visions are, in these times thought to be the result of an aberration of the mind, a psychosis. They don’t, in fairness, get a good rap.

I think we need to broaden our view of what a “vision” might be. It might be as gentle as a picture in your mind, it might be something far more dramatic of course. Visions vary.

I had one. It healed a very deep wound. A VERY deep wound. Both my grandmothers died quite suddenly, and I “knew” about one before I was told and I had a vision of one soon after her death and once again many years later – that’s the wound healing one... They are a different order of thought than mere daydreams, or your average dream – why? Because they change things afterwards. Here, in my case, it was a broken and damaged heart. For a doctor I do loss and grief very badly indeed.

Now my maternal grandmother had the singing voice of a strangulated crow, but boy did she blast it out during hymns at the church. She was a bold woman my grandma. A loud woman. Anyway, I was standing in church, years after her passing, it was at a pretty difficult time in my life, one of those times where your behaviour is toxic and everyone can see it but yourself. I mean clearly, I did: hence church, hence singing hymns. In the middle of “Guide me oh thou great Jehovah” suddenly, unexpectedly, I heard her voice literally blasting my ears off right beside me. I looked around and other than a few wee ladies mouthing the words — no-one. It was “you’re not alone son” only to the tune and words of “Guide me oh thou great Jehovah” …badly. I got the message. Now in fairness a verse would have been startling, confronting and comforting enough. But no, she finished the whole song. That was my grandma. Voice like nails on a chalkboard and someone who liked to finish a job in her own time…

I did heal a bit you know. I was changed.


Father God, bringer of visions in our ears, for our eyes but mostly for our hearts

Let the vision sit in our heart and let it change us as you would have us changed.