URC Daily Devotion 30 September 2022

30 September 2022
Acts 16: 25-40
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’  The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’  They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.  He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.  When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, ‘Let those men go.’  And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, ‘The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.’  But Paul replied, ‘They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.’  The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens;  so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.  After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

What if, at the earthquake and the unlocking of the doors, Paul, Silas and all of the other prisoners had run away and escaped?

It wouldn’t be much of a story and frankly it wouldn’t be much of a miracle. Just a fortuitous earthquake. Perhaps I am overstating the obvious here, but if Paul and Silas weren’t so tuned into the Spirit, focussing on God throughout their troubles, they most likely would have missed the cue’s from the Holy Spirit leading them through their role in the miracle.

When was the last time you partook of a miracle? It’s not a question we often ask each other, not in my experience at least. Perhaps we should. How tuned into the Spirit are we? When we find ourselves in situations where there is pain and suffering, injustice or bullying, do we actively seek out the breath of the spirit there and then in that situation? What if God has a miracle ripe and ready, if only we (and/or others around us) would engage and open our hearts?

Next time you find yourself in a situation that seems to have no way forward, for you or someone else, seek out the spirit as she hovers brooding over you, let her in and see what happens. Injustice so often happens behind closed doors, where imbalanced power often holds sway. But in God’s name things can be different and the power balance can shift from oppressor to God. Such outcomes are miraculous and lives are changed, the kingdom comes.

So, when was the last time you partook or a miracle?

God with us,
Remind us we are never alone,
It is never just us,
Remind us of our part to play,
If we would only listen,
Remind us of your power,
If we would only acknowledge our weakness,
Remind us that your miracles 
Bring what was in darkness to the light,
Exposing truth, setting the oppressed free.
Remind us of our part to play
If only we would listen.



Today’s writer

Liz Kam, CRCW, Levenshulme Inspire


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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