Acts 16:27-28 Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!” (The Message Bible)
The context here is that Paul and Silas are in prison and in the middle of the night an earthquake breaks open the cells. Coincidentally, one of my Facebook friends posted one of those prepackaged posts that read “she’s a little scared to get close to anyone because everyone who ever said ‘I’ll always be here for you’ left.” I’ve been blessed in my life to have people who have been there for me (special notice to my mother this Mother’s Day) but I know that many people, particularly those younger than me, have not had that same experience. All of us in ministry have felt the urge to cut and run. Heck, most of us in the church have felt the urge to cut and run, or in marriages, or families, or jobs. I guess that’s what makes this passage stand out. When I look out at our congregation on Sunday mornings I sometimes think, “We’re still here! Nobody’s run away!” In an increasingly mobile and individualistic world our churches are still a place of God’s stability and commitment. Thanks to all the Moms who hang in there and don’t run away. Thanks to Mother churches who do the same. Thanks to God who is the source of any and all stability. For whom are you “still here” this week?