And It Came to Pass (3 of 4)

A Bible story inspired by church camp dramas:

The Philippian Jailer

Acts 16 (RCV, Revised Camp Version)

Roman soldier

And it came to pass that Paul and Silas got into a small canoe and loosed from Troas. Soon, because they had great faith, they were able to arrive at Philippi without ever moving.

Much prayer, preaching, and healing were wont to be made in that city. But the multitude distrusted Paul and Silas (possibly because their costumes smelled of mildew). The multitude, unwilling to be shewn the way unto salvation, dragged Paul and Silas unto the marketplace. One of them, with a slight Brooklyn accent, said, “Yo! These men do exceedingly trouble our city.”

The magistrate ordered that Paul and Silas be beaten. And the multitude rose up together against them—angrily waving their Louisville Slugger baseball bats, which they had borrowed from the recreation director.

But lo, as they hastened to strike Paul and Silas, a great cry rose from a damsel outside the marketplace, beyond stage right—yea, a damsel who was not even part of this story.

The damsel, wearing a golden cloak in preparation for her debut as Queen Esther, had beheld a tribe of creatures, even field mice, inhabiting the folds of her garment.

(Is it not recorded in the chronicles of our forefathers that the camp costumes are stored in dark closets both in season and out of season?)

“What must I do to be saved?” shrieked the damsel.

“That’s MY line!” shouted the Philippian jailer from backstage.

Suddenly the angry multitude, followed by Paul and Silas and a great cloud of witnesses, left their places and thundered to where the damsel was. (The ground trembled at this disturbance as if in an earthquake, and the foundation of everyone’s nerves was shaken.)

The multitude, having forgotten all about Paul and Silas, cast many blows upon the damsel and her cloak—until the tribe of creatures was destroyed and the damsel was faint of spirit.  The drama director sang a praise unto God. And the same hour of the night, the damsel’s golden cloak was baptized in much hot, sudsy water.

In the upheaval, Paul and Silas took their canoe and left the city, escaping further persecution—though rumors of their imprisonment at Philippi are commonly reported to this very day.

Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4. Download a pdf of all four stories here.

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