BREAKING CHAINS, RECEIVING SALVATION

 

Braking Chains

Breaking Chains

Acts 16:16-34
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Miracle after miracle,
excitement upon excitement.
Living on the brink of destruction.
Teetering on the edge of disaster.
Living on adrenalin.
WOW, right?
Reading the Book of Acts
is like reading the history of a tornado.
It’s what happens when you see the vision,
have the dream,
feel the urgency and the newness —
get a fresh look at God.
Those, who were brought up in church,
paid attention in Sunday School,
believed the sermons,
went to church camp,
had love and forgiveness
offered to us daily in all the courses of the meal,
don’t get it,
usually…
If you look at the songs in our hymnals,
they are not always,
but generally,
about that two-thousand-year-ago event
and its impact on those long-past disciples,
or else praise and glory
for some theological mis-representation
of a mis-perceived Gospel truth.
While the more modern praise songs
seem more about the power of the now,
but the personal non-communal
and maybe just a trifle selfish
relationship between Jesus-and-me.
But the story of Jesus is
always fresh,
a new story,
a surprising
turn in our lives,
an event of cosmic proportions,
chains breaking,
soul-deep earthquakes
with
tsunami-like
ripples to entire families
and communities.
The story of Jesus is always about salvation,
but not from some fiery and far off hell.
It is about being delivered.
It is about our need to be saved from
our present day hells, prisons, chains.
The story of Jesus is,
in the end,
about our need for a vital
sharing of the Gospel to those without it,
who need that deliverance-form-of-salvation.
I’m not talking
foreign-land-missionary-proselytization here.
I’m talking offering hope to the
in-our-own-time hopeless.
Understand that the possibility of
liberation from oppression—
whatever that oppression is.
This, to some, is
more compelling
than any notion of an otherworldly Jesus,
but when combined with
an encounter with a real-time Jesus,
you me,
they who have had the dream/vision,
and shown what Jesus actually represents—
it can also be the kind of mind-boggling,
bolt-of-lightening-strike enlightenment
that has tornado-like ramifications.
Where in your life,
your soul,
your imagining
has that bolt of lightening struck?
How were your chains broken?
From what prison have you ben set free?
How?

That’s where the tornado-event is formed…
where we start,
and love has a chance to begin.

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