Sunday, July 03, 2005

St Peter in Chains

Acts 12:1-11
Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison

1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.

7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.

8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."

At the Church St. Peter in Chains; I beheld the chains that bound Peter.
I wept at the sight. As we approached the front of the altar we heard the congregants who were attending mass reciting "Holy, Holy , Holy is the Lord". What else can I say? The Bible was made plain for me today. I saw the chains, I felt the Spirit of the God moving at that moment in that church. Someone asked me once how I can know if God is real... all I can say is that: today I felt the magnificent, awesome, presence of God. I know that my going to Russia will never compare to what Peter and the early believers went through to follow God as they understood Him. I don't have to be like them.... I only have to follow my God as best as I can... one day at a time, for the rest of my life. Ciao!

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