My comfort is …

Commissioner Grace Briggans   -  

Reading: Acts 12: 4 – 19 Peter’s escape from prison

Many people place teddy bears in the windows of their homes as something for the children to look for when they are out walking with their family.

Some like in the photo, are outside in gardens. Children have always treasured soft toys and they love to take them to bed to cuddle. They are their comfort and sometimes even their security. Some carry their favourite toy everywhere. Adults have found comfort in baking, relaxing, having time to spend with the children. Children have loved their parents’ full attention – the walks, meals, cuddles and games together.

Now at Level 2 the most sought-after comfort food after five weeks of not being available, were Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, hamburgers and pizzas. Café- made coffee has been craved by many adults – their faces on that first sip said it all! It was interesting to hear that the sale of boxed hair colouring had gone up 100-140% in supermarkets during the weeks of lockdown. Obviously, there is comfort in disguising the grey hairs!

In the Bible story listed, Peter was certainly in lockdown with no hope of escape but it says the church were earnestly praying for him. God answers prayer – that is a fact. The angel woke Peter. His chains fell off and he was free of the stocks. He was led out of the prison. What a comfort it is to have someone to follow who knows where to go! Peter thought it was a vision. The gates opened automatically (the first automatic doors!) and Peter walked to the home where his friends were praying for him. There is no place like home where we can find comfort, have family around us and receive support.

Peter knocked and knocked and knocked at the door of Mary’s home. The disciples and others gathered there could not believe their eyes or their ears – it was Peter and he was free! He recounted his miraculous escape to them. The reunion was short but joyous and a great comfort to all to know Peter was alive and well. Peter left for fear of being re-arrested by Herod who executed the guards who had failed in their duty. They must have been astounded at this punishment for the cell doors were still locked. They had been on guard duty all night and saw nothing and no-one. Sleep was unthinkable!

Prayer and Response:

  • Where does your comfort come from? Psalm 119: 76 says: “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant”. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 says: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
  • Pray for those who you know are going through a tough time at present. Contact them and comfort them with kindness and understanding and tell them you will pray for them. When you give in Christ’s name you are blessed.