In this story we are about to witness a significant theological shift in the Church, however for this to happen God had bring together a diverse group of people in a place and time.
To one person he sent an angel.
To another person he sent a dream.
In both cases they were required to tangibly respond. For one it required a difficult shift in his belief system, for the other over coming fear and then both responding with obedience.
This obedience required them to suspend their natural suspicion, be willing to travel some distance and meet strangers. At each point they needed to respond in the moment.
What do we learn from this story:
God can and does guide us in our lives.
You have to spend time with God to hear him.
You have to be open to what he has to say to you.
You have to respond and to act on what you hear.
If God is asking you do something he will confirm it.
We do not respond to God alone. As we respond we include the community in which we belong.
Questions we must ponder in response to this story.
Is our theology so rigid that we could not and will not accept change?
Do our fears limit us?
In what ways are we prepared to allow God to talk to us?
Do I have prejudices that will limit my response to God?
Am I prepared to act on what God reveals to me?