Broadway. What a place! Street after street house theater after theater where some of the world’s greatest singers, dancer, and actors tell memorable stories day after day to adoring audiences. Just about 3 weeks ago, I was one of the members of their adoring audience.
Now I know by saying that, some of you are wanting to deduct “man-card” points from my score sheet. Listen, when you can hardly bench press more than the bar at the local health club and struggle to do anything that requires tools off my peg board in the garage, attending broadway musicals is hardly the greatest threat to my masculinity. So regardless of what anyone says, I want to plainly state the facts here: I am a man, and I like Broadway shows. OK, now that we have that over with, I’ll continue.
At the end of each Broadway show, at the conclusion of the final song, a curtain call is held. While the music plays, and a familiar song from the show is sung and danced to, members of the cast each reappear on the stage so that the adoring crowd (yes that’s me) can stand and deliver a raucous standing “O” in appreciation. I was thankful for this opportunity because after 2 or 3 hours of entertainment, I felt a special bond with a few of the characters.
Real life, however, is not always like Broadway. Seldom do people in real life sing their conversations with one another or dance their way down the grocery aisle at Homeland. Also, all too frequently, real life robs us of our chance to have a curtain call with those we love. Reading the book of Acts reminds me of that. The historical books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts) are full of stories about the Apostle Peter. He is a beloved character as a result. If you read these books, you no doubt identify with Peter in some ways, and would love the chance to give him a proper send off at the end of the book. Instead of giving Peter a curtain call, however, he simply disappears.
For those of you who also enjoy Broadway, this is like Ga-Linda just not showing up for Act II of Wicked or like Mary Poppins not returning to 17 Cherry Tree Lane after intermission. At some level you are left wondering, “What happened to them?”
This Sunday at Wildwood, we are going to be concluding our series entitled “Hope Restored” on the Apostle Peter. In doing so, we are going to look at the final scene that Peter is a part of in the New Testament historical books. We will do this by looking at Acts 12:1-17. You can read ahead if you would like . . . just as you read, maybe go ahead and start your standing “O” for Pete early, because he does not make an appearance after this time.
Though we will not talk much about this aspect of it on Sunday, I think it is important for me to answer the question, “Why do we not get more info about Peter in Acts after chapter 12?” The answer to me is quite simple: the book is not about Peter, it is about Jesus. The book is also not about Paul or James or John. It is about Jesus. Jesus works through all these men, and the book of Acts tells THAT story, not just the story of individuals. The plot moves along with a selective history of how Jesus takes the Gospel from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the world through His work through His followers lives.
Hope to see you Sunday as we take a look at this famous jailbreak.