Preaching in Prison
Today’s scripture selection: Acts 15-16
Key Verses: Acts 16:22-31
The apostle Paul never missed a chance to preach. He never overlooked an opportunity to share something – either in word or action – that would communicate something important about God.
One great example of this was the night that Paul and one of his fellow believers, Silas, were thrown into prison. Not only had they been imprisoned; they had been stripped and severely beaten. Around midnight, they were found “praying and singing” in their cell. Suddenly and miraculously, via “a violent earthquake” the foundations of the prison were shaken – and they have their chance to escape. Did they?
No – they stayed put – and the jailer who found them; who would have been required to kill himself for losing his prisoners – this man was left totally dumbfounded at his discovery.
He fell to his knees trembling before these extraordinary prisoners and exclaims, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Paul told him. And that very night, “the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and his entire household were baptized.”
When I hear a story like that – I think of all the missed opportunities I have had to share my faith. There have been so many times when I was too tired; too distracted; too busy to take the time to be completely present in the moment and be available to the person before me, compassionately sharing my faith.
We aren’t all “apostles” – not officially, at least.
But we are called to be real; be available; be vulnerable; be caring and loving enough to recognize those times when we can really be of service in God’s kingdom.
And sometimes – perhaps often – those times come unexpectedly.
So keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your heart open too.
God may want to use you for some glorious purpose.
Even when you least expect it.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be more attentive to all of the possibilities you provide to share your love. AMEN.