Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Freedom!


MTR Rally
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
An excerpt from an excellent sermon by Pastor Cindy...

The story that I heard when [William Lloyd Garrison] first caught my eye was about how he attended a very important meeting of abolitionists in London. His ship was delayed, and when he got there a few days late, he was disappointed to hear that the delegates to the meeting had already voted that women, among them Lucretia Mott, could not be seated on the floor and that they would not entertain another motion regarding this.

Back in the US, Garrison had worked closely with a number of women abolitionists, and he was adamant in his support for human rights, human rights. “He would not sit at a convention that dishonored his colleagues, but would bear silent testimony against it from the gallery.”

And so he went and sat up in the balcony with the women and some of his male friends. Everyone noticed him, and bit by bit, some of the other delegates joined him. It caused quite a stir. He dominated the meeting without saying a word. Became quite popular, in fact. And it was the it was the beginning of something huge. You see, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was there with her brand new husband, who was opposed to Garrison’s stance. But Garrison’s silent protest lit something in Elizabeth Cady Stanton that would not be silenced.

As his biography, All on Fire, puts it, she had been garrisonized...

...And now we turn to the Apostle Paul, who, like Garrison, believed in human freedom. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

The last several chapters of Acts make for great narrative. Most of what we know today about ships and sailing during Paul’s time is due to the author of Act’s detailed acccount of Paul’s journey to Rome.

As we heard last week, Paul was arrested and imprisoned. Upon hearing of a plot to kill him, the Romans sent him to Caesarea, where he was imprisoned for possibly two years. When his case was finally heard, he appealed to Rome, where he was sent. After a storm at sea, hunger, shipwreck, a visit with the natives on the island of Malta, Paul eventually does make it to Rome, and that’s where our story ends.

[The last two verses of Acts read:

And he stayed two full years [imprisoned] in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. ]

So the author of Acts either didn’t know what happened to him, or purposefully chose to end the story with Paul imprisoned, and yet free. I tend to think that it’s the latter, because after all, as Frank Stagg said, that’s what the whole book’s about, right? For freedom, Paul says to the Galatians, for freedom Christ has set us free.

6 Comments:

At 10/13/08, 4:47 PM, Blogger Edwin Drood said...

Would Paul be allowed to preach at your church?

 
At 10/16/08, 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would LOVE for the Apostle Paul to preach at my church! I'm cross-eyed in love with him.

Cindy

 
At 10/23/08, 5:12 PM, Blogger Kendra said...

Is there any chance I could get the e-mail address of this blogger-- the one on the profile does not appear to be working. Thanks so much! Peace.

 
At 10/24/08, 10:46 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

paynehollow@yahoo.com

I'll see if I can figure out what's wrong with the profile email.

 
At 10/24/08, 10:48 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Fixed. Thanks for notifying me of that!

 
At 10/26/08, 4:49 AM, Blogger brd said...

Sweet thoughts!

 

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