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Vignettes of Hope: New Hope (In the Midst of Chains)

Acts 16:16-34, NRSV


The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, dwarfing the rates of nearly every developed country, even surpassing those in highly repressive regimes like Russia, China, and Iran. In Germany, 93 people are in prison for every 100,000 adults and children. In the United States, the rate is roughly eight times that, or 750 per 100,000. The racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature. No other country in the world imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.

— Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

  • Not much details on the slave girl, but it was easy for people to recognize the demonic spirit in her, but failed to recognize the demonic act of treating people as commodities
  • The persistent crying out from the slave girl is to remind us all to listen to those underprivilege, often the cries are uncomfortable to hear
  • Tackle anything which is likely to lead to diminishing returns for investors and you must be wrong from the very start! National leaders have used the same logic to resist doing sensible things about climate change. Don’t threaten business! — William Loader, Easter 7
  • Owners are the high priests of the economic life. Owners fear no religion, no faith or its adherents. They only fear interruptions to the smooth flow of capital. These owners unleash an imperial power that is always at their disposal, one drenched in the seductions of money and influence. They take Paul and Silas against their will and bring them into the marketplace in front of the authorities, and from the site of commerce and control, they say the words that will bring exactly the desired effect: “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews — Willie James Jennings, Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible
  • While Paul and Silas in jail, even with jail being broken, they stayed, sang praises to God, demonstrating love and care for other prisoners and jail guards


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