TITLE: A Christian’s Song
DATE: February 27, 2019
TEXT: Acts 21: 22-26 – ESV - A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
Let’s get this right.
The two had been unjustly accused; they had been unfairly tried; they had been beaten illegally; they had been thrown into the darkest place of the jail and chained up so they wouldn’t get away. In response to all this mistreatment the Apostle and Assistant did what?
They sang a song of praise to the Savior. They sang a song of a Christian.
Let’s get this right.
The date is September 11. The place is: Tower 1 of the World Trade Center, just above where the terrorist plane hit. The scene is the smoke filled offices of Cantor Fitzgerald.
The future: None.
This building and those on this floor have been marked for death by terrorists. There is no hope. But then, through the smoke, a song was sung. It had no melody. The words did not rhyme.
But it was the song of a Christian.
Co-workers recognized the voice of Al Braca.
Normally, Al was a corporate bond trader. This day he was the Lord's singer. With death minutes away, Al made a phone call to his family. He couldn't get through. He left a message with an MCI operator: "Tell them that I love them." It took a month to deliver that part of Al's song.
In hurried e-mails, in final cell phone contacts, others on the floor told of the rest. They spoke of how Al was praying with 50 of his co-workers; how he was sharing the love of Jesus, and how they could be saved.
Al's son, Christopher, best described that song when he said: "The last thing my dad did involved the two things most important to him--God and his family."
Al sang a song of praise to his Savior. He sang a song of a Christian.
Those events all took place a good many years ago. Since then many people have come and gone, lived and died. And the Christians have kept singing their songs of praise. Although the singer might not be able to carry a tune, the song of his life is as pleasing to the Lord and the court of heaven as it is dissonant and disturbing to the earthly dictator.
And what does the Christian’s song sound like? It sounds like this: Lord, thank You for the mercy shown to me a sinner.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice in all my Savior has done to free and forgive me. Now may the song of praise I sing be clear and easily understood by those who still are lost. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html