Several years after Jesus’ death, Jesus’ followers were spreading the good news and bringing people into the church. At that time King Herod caused terrible suffering for some members of the church. (This was a different King Herod from the one we know about who reigned during the birth of Jesus.) Herod ordered soldiers to cut off the head of Jesus’ disciple James, the brother of John. Then, while the Jews were celebrating the Festival of Passover, Herod had Peter arrested. He put Peter in jail and ordered four squads of soldiers to guard him. Herod planned to put Peter on trial in public after the festival. While Peter was being kept in jail, the church never stopped praying for him.
The night before Peter’s trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains. A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrance to the jail. Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared, and light flashed around in the cell. The angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up. Then the angel said, "Quick! Get up!" The chains fell off Peter’s hands, and the angel said, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." Peter did what he was told. Then the angel said, "Now put on your coat and follow me." Peter left with the angel, but he thought everything was only a dream. They went past the two groups of soldiers, and when they came to the iron gate to the city, it opened by itself. They went out and were going along the street, when all at once the angel disappeared.
Peter now realized what had happened, and he said, "I am sure that the Lord sent his angel to rescue me." Then Peter went to the house of a woman named Mary. Many of Jesus’ followers had gathered there and were praying.
Peter knocked on the gate, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer. When Rhoda heard Peter's voice, she was too excited to open the gate. She ran back into the house and told everyone that Peter was standing there. "You are crazy!" the others told her. But she kept saying that it was Peter. Then they said, "It must be his angel." But Peter kept on knocking, until finally they opened the gate. They saw him and were completely amazed. Peter motioned for them to keep quiet. Then he told how the Lord had led him out of jail. He also said, "Tell the others what has happened." After that, he left and went somewhere else.
The next morning the soldiers who had been on guard were terribly worried and wondered what had happened to Peter. Herod ordered his own soldiers to search for Peter, but they could not find him. Then he questioned the guards and had them put to death. After this, Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.
“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.” — Philippians 4:6 CEV
Creation Station – Gail Jordan, Robin Shannon, Yvette and Jason Shallcross
Holywood – Amy Woynicz and Victoria Vojnovich
Antioch Arcade – Amy Woynicz
Praising Puppets – Warren Bock and Ginger Espino
Thank you to our Curriculum Design Team: Carole Rhodes, Lee Smith, Sara Ridings, Allison Connors, Angela Farthing, Robin Morris, Amy Woynicz, and Lori Houck.