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Showing posts from May, 2013

Get Out of Gaol Free

Acts 16:16-34

When Paul is telling us about the dangers he faced he’s often quite understated and matter of fact. It’s interesting, therefore, to hear Luke’s first-hand account of one of those experiences in this passage from the lectionary readings for May. Here Luke spares us no details and spells out the drama of the situation in the most lurid terms.

Notice the arresting way in which the slave girl describes these early Christians. They are not servants of God, with rights and privileges. They are not entitled to be protected from danger. Instead, they are ‘slaves’. Slaves have to do unquestioningly whatever their owner tells them. This includes putting themselves in harm’s way and doing dangerous things.When Paul responds by healing the girl, her divinations about him and Silas are proved true. Luke, of course, escapes, no doubt grateful to be push aside as they are dragged before the magistrates, attacked by the mob and then beaten with rods, the traditional Roman punishment for d…