Wednesday 30 January, 2013

Acts 27:1-12

27 It was decided that we would sail for Italy. Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a Roman commander named Julius. He belonged to the Imperial Guard. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium. It was about to sail for ports along the coast of Asia Minor. We headed out to sea. Aristarchus was with us. He was a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3 The next day we landed at Sidon. There Julius was kind to Paul. He let Paul visit his friends so they could give him what he needed. 4 From there we headed out to sea again. We passed the calmer side of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 We sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia. Then we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the commander found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy. He put us on board. 7 We moved along slowly for many days. We had trouble getting to Cnidus. The wind did not let us stay on course. So we passed the calmer side of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 It was not easy to sail along the coast. Then we came to a place called Fair Havens. It was near the town of Lasea. 9 A lot of time had passed. Sailing had already become dangerous. By now it was after the Day of Atonement, a day of fasting. So Paul gave them a warning. 10 “Men,” he said, “I can see that our trip is going to be dangerous. The ship and everything in it will be lost. Our own lives will be in danger also.” 11 But the commander didn’t listen to what Paul said. Instead, he followed the advice of the pilot and the ship’s owner. 12 The harbor wasn’t a good place for ships to stay during winter. So most of the people decided we should sail on. They hoped we would reach Phoenix. They wanted to spend the winter there. Phoenix was a harbor in Crete. It faced both southwest and northwest.

Luke tells us in detail the beginnings of the sea journey to Rome with all the characters and drama, perhaps even more vivid in detail because Luke was actually sailing with Paul, as all the ‘we’ passages indicate.

What strikes me about this passage is that Paul, even though a prisoner, does have a voice

on-board the ship. His warning wasn’t listened to at this point but he did speak up, and not being listened to this time did not stop him from speaking up again later.

Taking the risk and speaking up when I see

that things are likely to go wrong is what I take from this passage.  Speaking up, even risking my heart in a matter, even if I think I won’t be heard takes courage.

Father I pray that I would have the courage to speak up even if I am not listened to, my heart not heard but that I would have your conviction that it is the right thing to do.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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