This morning, our passage in Acts is about a jailbreak. Paul and Silas are behind bars, praying and singing hymns. There is an earthquake. (OK, this is starting to sound familiar.) The foundations shake. The doors fling open wide. The jailer panics, only to find all the prisoners still there. He falls before them asking, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (So much for those who see “believers’ baptisms” as the only way to salvation – “You and your household.”) That night, he and his entire family were baptized without delay.
In Acts, God’s grace is on the loose. Literally. There are many Jews that are feeling threatened by the lessening importance of the law. The good news cannot be contained, and is spreading even to those who know very little about God.
This has been continued tension in the church for millennia. As new believers come into the fold, there is a tendency for those of us who have been around for a long time to kick back on our heels and not give an inch. We become defensive and territory-oriented.
We fight about the way things used to be done. We fight about who should have power, when God is the one with all the power anyway.
None of these fights are healthy for the church. The fact is we are called to a new life, a life in Christ. That earthquake was to do more than shake things up, but to set us all free, that the prison doors of our lives be flung open, and that we are ready and willing to accept God’s new creation, which is never-ending.
The church is changing. It is on the move. Our foundations are shaking and a new world order is upon us.
Our only call? To believe on the Lord Jesus, and follow wherever the Spirit leads.
So let’s shake things up.