|Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing inspiration, quotes and
religious resources. This Home Page is changed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are warmly
invited to read every quote posted for each theme, or simply to read those that interest you. They are
offered in the belief that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and that finding the commonality
in religions is more important than pointing up the differences. Religion is precious gift that blesses the
individual and uplifts the community. However you worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. Let
us meet regularly and build a spiritual network. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
On Today's Theme:
I'll not forget the Necropolis Tour we took underneath the Vatican. We were
wandering among pagan grave sites, when suddenly our guide announced,
"We're about to go into the area containing the bones of the Apostle Peter.
Please enter quietly and in a few moments we'll say the Lord's Prayer."
I hadn't known the bones were even on the tour, let alone that they lay
where they had been excavated, now in a space age container designed
by NASA. We viewed them from a distance, and I kept thinking, "Those
bones walked with Jesus. They walked for a moment on water, they
hung upside down on a cross." Peter became real to me, someone
I might speak to over dinner, and the perspective uplifted me.
Like the apostle we know as Doubting Thomas, Peter comes across
in the pages of the New Testament as someone as human as we are.
He's rough-hewn in body and personality, impulsive and outspoken.
He jumps out of the boat to walk toward Jesus on the water, then panics
when his intellect tells him it's impossible. He swears to follow Jesus no
matter what, but at Jesus' trial he panics again and declares, "Nope,
never heard of the guy." (Okay, not in those exact words, but you get the
idea.) And later on, while imprisoned, an angel comes and walks him right
out to freedom...and what does Peter think? He figures it's just a vision.
And just like us, Peter has to take action to find freedom.
Observe that the angel pretty much punches him in the ribs to wake him.
Then the angel tells him to: Get up right now. Get dressed. Put on your shoes.
Put on your
cloak. (Must've been cold outside. Such a mother this angel was!)
And finally, the angel says Follow me.
From Peter's story, we can glean multiple lessons. One, you don't have to be
able to walk on water for a miracle to find you. Two, apparently we are given
second, third and fourth chances to make right decisions. And three, don't
be surprised if an angel punches you in the ribs to awaken you to action.
Yes, to walk in the path of freedom, we have to get off our duffs,
put on our shoes, get dressed, be prepared for the cold,
and follow the right person.
Please enjoy a most human and even entertaining miracle.
- Lisa Bowman
St. Peter Freed From Prison
Fra Lippi (1457-1504)
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but a constant prayer was offered to God
for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night
Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards
before the door were keeping the prison.
Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him; and a light shone in the prison;
and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his
chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your
sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me."
So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel
was real, thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second
guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them
of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and
immediately the angel departed from him.
And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord
has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the
expectation of the Jewish people." So, when he had considered this, he came to the
house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were
gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl
named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter's voice, because of
her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced
that Peter stood before the gate.
But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so.
So they said to her, "It is his angel." Now Peter continued knocking; and when they
opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. But motioning to them with
his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of
the prison. And he said, "Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren."
And he departed and went to another place.
Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what
had become of Peter. But when Herod had searched for him and not found him,
he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death.
Acts 12: 5-19
The Holy Bible
New King James Version
The Last Word:
I love the recklessness of faith.
First you leap, and then you grow wings.
Rev. William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006)
Presbyterian minister; Chaplain of Yale University;
influential peace activist
I've seen prayers answered. But often, in my experience,
if you get what you pray for, you've really shortchanged yourself.
Anne Lamott (1954 - )
American author of fiction and nonfiction books