Acts 16:16-34 - Sunday Scripture Reflection
Updated: May 31
On this Seventh Sunday of Easter, we continue our readings from the Book of Acts. Paul and his companions have remained in Philippi and have found some trouble for themselves. A young girl, filled with a spirit, had been exploited for profit by some local men and their scheme came to a quick end when Paul drove the spirit out of the girl, in the name of Christ. The profit-seeking men turn the local crowd against Paul and Silas, who find themselves beaten and arrested. The grace of God enters into this tension filled story in unexpected and life-changing ways. We will discuss how the challenges of life can often seem overwhelming, and how we might discover the hope and promise of God's grace in our lives too!
Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of Acts. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Acts 16:16-34).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the assigned Scripture lesson for the week. What are some phrases or actions in the story that capture your attention, and what are your thoughts? What challenges do you find in the story, and how do the people facing these challenges handle them? Do they respond in ways you believe you would respond if you were in their place?
Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, and reflect on the author's explanation of the use of the word for Lord ("kyrios"). The word was common in the language and culture of the Roman Empire...what does this imply about how the Church appropriated "common language" to introduce the Christian faith and help people better understand the important elements of God's importance in their life?
Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement "We all need to be asking, 'What must I do to be saved?'" How can we use the experience of the jailer to help us discover how we might make bold changes in our lives to live more fully into Christ's invitation to follow Him?
Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's idea that all the characters in the story, in the end, find "freedom" by being bound to God. What might that mean for you in your life...to experience the freedom to follow Christ by being bound to God?
Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement of how society often labels people based upon their job/profession. A common "small talk" question that is asked when meeting a new person is, "What do you do for a living?" There are certainly good reasons to ask this question (discover a person's interests, finding common experiences, follow-up questions, etc.), but this question can also be used to "sort" people, or to put labels of worth on people (college or no college, professional or trades career, salaried or hourly, etc.). How might we take up the author's challenge to engage the Gospel and ask questions that discover different truths of people's lives?