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Freedom in Chains

Acts 16:11-34, NRSV

Reflections

Those people who pray know what most around them either don’t know or choose to ignore: centering life in the insatiable demands of the ego is the sure path to doom…. They know that life confined to the self is a prison, a joy-killing, neurosis-producing, disease-fomenting prison.

— Eugene H. Peterson
Where Your Treasure Is

  • v11-15: Lydia’s Conversion
  • Successful business owner, probably driven by all sorts of outside influences, a need to prove herself
  • But also eager to hear about God
  • “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord” (v15) Not entirely sure if she is doing it right (She gets it, but she is still getting it)
  • v16-18: Slave Girl
  • Supernatural power in the world could very well be evil
  • Power encounter with Paul, while being in spiritual turmoil
  • Social Evil, systematic Evil (v19) – they are not about to let Paul and Silas to get away from freeing the slave girl
  • v25-34: Jailer
  • Unlike Lydia and the slave girl, he is not seeking, not in struggle, not interested in Paul’s mission at first
  • Gospel was preached to him in crisis, not in words, but by actions being shown
  • Paul and Silas have shown how they handled during crisis, that they were still praising God
  • Jailer being part of the systematic evil was repaid by good, by the Grace of God

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