Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent Angels 16

After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, his followers continued to spread his message. The Roman and Jewish authorities, who thought they had crushed the threat to their power by crucifying Jesus, found that instead, the trouble seemed to have multiplied. A savage wave of persecution followed. James was killed and Peter was thrown into prison.

The church “prayed fervently to God for him” and in the middle of the night, an angel appeared to him in his prison cell and set him free. He thought he was dreaming, and so did the members of the church. Rhoda, the woman who answered his knock at the door, initially left him standing outside, because she was so surprised to see him there.

The story doesn’t promise that nothing bad will happen to Christians; it begins by telling us about the killing of James. It does remind us, though, that we are not forgotten by God when we are in trouble, and that the concern and prayers we offer for one another is not wasted.

·         Why do you think prayer matters, if you do? Does it matter to you if you know others are praying for you?
·         The angel in this story is a messenger proclaiming liberation. Is there anything you feel you need liberating from?

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