“We are restored and set free so that we can be agents of God’s healing in a broken and bent world.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 10, 2022
And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. Acts 16:33-34, ESV
I struggle with the limited and defined nature of “favorites.” It is nearly impossible for me to tell you my favorite movie or musical album! What genre? What time period? Where was I when I first saw or heard it? How did it shape my own life story in some meaningful way? As such, I have a similar struggle when it comes to the idea of a “life verse” or even a favorite Bible verse. That said, Acts 16:33 is at least one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible, for in just a few short words it perfectly captures the very heart of God toward us and the reality of any true encounter with the living God.
Here, as the jailer encounters the power of God that sets Paul and Silas free, he at the same time is directed to the source of that power, not in an abstract sense, but in the embodied person of Jesus Christ. And it is this encounter with the living God that leads the jailer and his family to receive the life of God through the waters of baptism. And yet, and here is why this verse hovers at the very top of my “favorites” list, notice how the one receiving baptism is at the same time washing the wounds of the Lord’s servants.
Those who have been washed in baptism are sent to wash the wounds of others.
This, my dear friends, is the very heart of the Christian life! We are not cleansed from sin simply for our own personal salvation or private “ticket to heaven.” No, we are restored and set free so that we can be agents of God’s healing in a broken and bent world. If your faith in Christ feels stalled or stagnant, I encourage you to look afresh to this ancient story in Acts 16 and find in the jailer a source of renewed mission and purpose.
Rejoice with the jailer that you and perhaps even your household believe in God. However, do not stop with belief alone! Continue to journey with the jailer and seek out in love those who are wounded – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and enter into their stories, offering the healing and cleansing love of the Lord to those in great need.
Father, as I receive your cleansing love, may I also go forth in that same love to care for others in your name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayerfully reflect upon the story of the jailer today, looking for ways to model your own life story after his.
Brian & Jenn Johnson: Mention of Your Name
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