Acts 12:1-19 King Herod arrested Peter … under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each … The church prayed very earnestly for him … [An angel of the Lord springs him.] When he realized he was free, Peter went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said … Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed.
So, you may not feel I am being adequately respectful of God by saying he is amusable. But follow my logic here. Try to think about this story from God’s point of view. He’s just done a spectacular miracle in response to the believers’ prayers. And then Peter gets stuck out in the street while those same pray-ers decide God couldn’t possibly have done what they were asking him to do. Rhoda’s response is quite funny.
And there seems no “spiritual” reason for God to inspire Luke to include this story. I mean, poor Rhoda! But if we believe all Scripture is inspired by God, that applies here too. I think God wants us to laugh at and with those people. I imagine them retelling the story for years—to the point that it made it into Holy Scripture, handed down all the way to us.
Perhaps because I spend a fair amount of time with two toddlers and a preschooler, my life is filled with amusement. This week Caleb, 3 ½, has vacillated between being a giant crane (the machine kind) anxious to help move heavy things, and a funny pterodactyl (“engraçado” in Portuguese), swooping across the grass. I’m supposed to know how to address him at any given moment, and he’s quick to correct me if I get it wrong. His one-year-old sister doesn’t quite have the swooping down yet, but she’s trying! And I of course am required to swoop with them. The very picture of dignity.
When is the last time you did something silly? I would love to hear your stories!