2 Kings 8:1‐9:13; Acts 16:16‐40; Psalm 143:1‐12; Proverb 17:26
The Adventures of Following Jesus
Following Jesus is an adventure. There are so many moments in this narrative from Acts that seem to be matter of fact. A deliverance of a slave girl from demons, being beaten and thrown in jail, singing praise in prison, the salvation of a jailer and his household, defending the Gospel, encouraging the brethren and more – all these moments appear to be routine. Do we walk day by day with the expectation of God working in and among everyday moments? I hope so.
Consider the following…
The Apostle Paul spent roughly one-quarter of his missionary career in prisons. John McRay wrote in Christian History:
Roman imprisonment was preceded by being stripped naked and then flogged—a humiliating, painful, and bloody ordeal. The bleeding wounds went untreated as prisoners sat in painful leg or wrist chains. Mutilated, bloodstained clothing was not replaced, even in the cold of winter. Most cells were dark, especially the inner cells of a prison, like the one Paul and Silas inhabited in Philippi. Unbearable cold, lack of water, cramped quarters, and sickening stench from few toilets made sleeping difficult and waking hours miserable. Because of the miserable conditions, many prisoners begged for a speedy death. Others simply committed suicide. In settings like this, Paul wrote encouraging, even joyful letters and continued to speak of Jesus. (Christian History – issue 47)
I am humbled by this thought and embarrassed when I complain about the difficulties I may encounter in the course of a day. Paul wrote elsewhere… “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). May God give us grace to see eternity in the midst of this earthly journey.
The Rev. Jon Davis
Canterbury Retreat Center