It’s a bright new day, Scotland’s been swept with rain, storms and other bad weather – Tongue seemingly excluded. Looking outside this morning, it’s bright – but cloudy. Faced with the prospect of getting out of bed, dressed etc etc etc… is really rather difficult. Then add onto the fact that I have camp prep to do as well as all my other tasks, and I find it hard to just… keep on going.
Fortunately, the morning talk/”thought for the day” sorta thing I’m doing next Thursday, is on just this topic.
I’ve got my passage, and a basic overview of what I might want to mention. That’s all.
It’s quite a nerve racking experience, I don’t know my audience, I don’t know the lead up *cough* to the situation, and I don’t know what is planned for the rest of the day after my talk. As much as I enjoy talking, and enjoy public speaking, all of a sudden I’m more focused on this, then I was on the presentation I gave worth 10% of one of my modules in first trimester last year.
First things first though, what is the actual passage? No point stressing out now right? Might be a nice easy passage.
Btw, totally read this, click on the link, I can tell when you do and when you don’t (>..>’) there’s no point reading the rest if you don’t read the passage it’s based on.
Would you order a burger, and only eat the bun? My point exactly.
25-26Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
Thinking about keeping going, I have to admit my first thought, was “did they keep singing? or where they awestruck into silence?
I think the answer is probably no.
However, looking at the passage in whole, imagine, walking along the street, and this “psychic” starts shouting “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” Now, as nice as it is for it to be advertised you are a Christian, it’s kind of rough to have somebody following you about shouting, and scaring away all the people you want to talk to.
Paul gets tired of this, and doesn’t go “Sack this, I’m going home, I miss my bed.” Paul puts up with this for a number of days, and then he gets annoyed, and his response… He tells the demon to get out of this girl, and it goes – no fight no argument, it just goes. Simple as that. That is cool. Undeniably cool. If you’ve ever seen “The Exorcist” or any movie with a similar plot, then you get the impression that even in pretend demons don’t like to just get up and go. Thats why it’s cool.
Despite the epic display of God’s power through Paul here, that’s not the best bit of this passage.
Imagine you’ve just been beaten, stripped in public, all by court rulings, then taken to a high security jail, normally reserved for murders and worse till they are executed.
First thing that comes to mind, might well be prayer, after all, who else can you turn to? But then, if you where trusting in God to look after you… and THEN all this rubbish comes your way? Maybe you’d be tempted to say screw God, what’s he done for me? and just rage-quit Christianity. I would be, it’s tough when you miss the bus to Church, or sleep in for an important lecture, and you think “God why’d this happen to me!?” (Other than a lack of organisation caused by lazyness and lack of effort) but when all that crap has just happened to you?
I’d probably give up, but Paul and Silas are just like… what ever dude. They pray, they start singing “robustly” which I would imagine means the equivalent music like Queen was to the 70s and 80s.
(Just happened to by in my play list)
He keeps on going, he even ends up explaining the Gospel to his jailer. Seriously these guys are hard to the core!
There’s as much if not more to talk about in the bit from chapter 17, but there’s just one small sentence I’d like to highlight.
“Silas and Timothy stayed behind.”
Like, when there was a freaking MOB out in the city, baying for their blood, their mate Paul escapes to Athens, there’s space for Silas and Timothy, but they STAY behind, they aren’t left, they stay. That’s like saying “I know there’s a mob here and all trying to get us stoned to death (not ODing on drugs, but having massive rocks chucked at them till they where dead.) but we think there’s still some stuff here for us to do, so we’ll catch up with you when we’re done here.”
I’ll leave you with that to think about.
Cheers for reading!
NB. I’ll probs use very little of what I’ve discussed here in my talk, on the basis that target audience is different, how many of this kids will have heard of queen(hopefully more then none), or seen the exorcist(hopefully none)?