Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 17:Year 2
“While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.” (Acts 12:5)
This Church was assembled in the home of Mary, mother of John and James, who has been killed with a sword by order of Herod. What I don’t get is at the end of this reading, where it is said, “And he added, ‘Tell this to James and to the believers.’”(I thought James had been killed. Can one of you reading this blog help me understand this?)
What I really want to get to is the Church praying for a miracle and getting it! It was so surprising that the maid left Peter knocking and “When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate.” (Acts 12: 13 and 14)
Interesting that Rhoda “recognized” his voice! Recognizing his voice is one it the pieces of evidence that identified Peter when Jesus was arrested. “After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” (Matthew 26:73) Apparently Peter’s voice is very distinct, like a Morgan Freeman or a James Earl Jones.
But it was the voices of the Church that got him freed. They asked for a miracle and then couldn’t believe it when it happened. The same is true for us today. We are in the midst of a pandemic and we, the Church, are praying for relief. We will get it.
Between Peter standing at the gate here, and having the keys to the church, many Christians assume that it will be St. Peter whom we will meet in the Resurrection standing at the pearly gates. Who knows? I just hope to get to the gates of heaven. Maybe I will find out which James is which. In the mean time, we, the Church, need to be about praying for pandemic relief. Prayer works.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John