Having already apologised for this morning’s mess up, it seems that my attempts to rectify things have made it even worse! As you may have noticed; instead of uploading today’s notes, I uploaded yesterday’s again. Let’s just call it a senior moment. I am sorry. Hannah Hallett has provided the notes this week.
Get ready, this one’s amazing!! I love this passage for many reasons, it’s got Peter in it (he’s one of my favourite bible characters), it’s got a miracle in it (it’s a really good one) and, best of all, a lot of confusion! You can read the passage here.
This passage would make a great film, there’s so much drama in it. I say that about a lot of the stories involving Peter, you’ve got to love him. King Herod has already killed James, one of the twelve, he is all about popularity and in a move that he sees bringing him more favour with the Jews he seizes Peter and puts him in prison. He doesn’t stop there though, he goes a little overboard with the guard to prisoner ratio! He has sixteen guards with him. When John and Peter run to the tomb after Jesus is resurrected, Peter gets there last. I think it’s safe to say he’s not fast but, still, Herod thinks sixteen is the magic number and it’s clear that he has no intention of letting Peter get away. He’d probably heard of Peter’s previous escape from prison and had concluded that more guards would be the answer. Needless to say, he could have had a thousand guards there and it wouldn’t have stopped God’s plan.
I wonder whether Peter was intimidated, two chains, two guards and two sentries. When he is released he thinks it’s a vision so he obviously didn’t see it coming. On the other hand, he sleeps. It’s at night that little things begin to bother us and keep us awake, sometimes we can stay awake for hours worrying about something that is insignificant by the morning. Peter who has his faith in God sleeps in his prison cell and in his chains. He probably would have heard about Herod killing James, his friend and fellow disciple, but still he trusts.
While Peter trusts, the church prays. We’ve had the prayforme phone for a few months now at Eb and sometimes it really shocks me how much people are going through behind closed doors. There are real struggles going on all of the time and we need to be in earnest prayer for our church family. It seems to have been a critical part of this story. The church are praying together when Peter is released. Unfortunately, they still don’t quite believe it when their prayers are answered and leave Peter knocking the door outside!
Let’s commit to pray earnestly for those in our own church and in chains around the world. Let’s trust that God’s plan is perfect and live without fear.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.