Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sometimes, the Bible is Just Funny

One of the Bible stories I think is the funniest is one I read last Sunday, right after I read the Hezekiah one. It's that story where all this miraculous stuff is going on and nobody--and I mean nobody--gets it.

So Peter--you know, St. Peter--has gotten arrested and put in jail. He's pretty well guarded. All his friends are meeting in this house and praying for him. Sometimes I wish I knew what, specifically, they were praying. Anyway, in the middle of the night, the 16 or so guards are all dozing, and this angel shows up in jail with Peter and lets him out. The whole time the angel is unlocking everything and opening doors, Peter thinks he's having this really cool vision or dream. Which would be, you know, really cool. But actually something even cooler is happening, which he doesn't realise until he's standing in the middle of the road and the angel is nowhere in sight.

So Peter trots off down the road until he gets to the house where all these people are praying for him. Remember. They're praying. For him.

He knocks on the door, and this girl named Rhoda goes to answer it. You have to give her a little credit. She was probably kind of nervous. The puppet king was on this search-and-destroy mission for Christian leaders right then (thus Peter's being in jail). So, she gets to the door all timidly and realises that Peter's out there. You know. Peter. The guy they were praying for.

In her utter astonishment, she goes running back into the prayer meeting (leaving him on the front step) and starts jumping up and down and telling everyone that Peter's out there. And they don't believe her.

It all gets sorted out, of course, and then the king dies a nasty, horrible death at the end, so there's poetic justice and everything. But I just think this story is hilarious. It gets me every time.

The thing is, this time, thanks to the lectionary, I was reading it sandwiched in between the Hezekiah story and the story of the widow of Nain getting her son back from the dead. Those lectionary dudes were clearly trying to get a point across. I already mentioned (in my Hezekiah musings) some of the points I took from it. On Monday, I'll talk about them some more. Meanwhile, I'll just leave you chuckling.


Annelise said...

You might enjoy Worship by the Book edited by D.A. Carson. The chapter by Mark Ashton and C.J. Davies called "Following in Cranmer's Footsteps" will intensify your appreciation for the Lectionary and Book of Common Prayer.

Heather said...

God has a great sense of humour--and he's not afraid to let it show in the stories of the Bible.

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