This story lends itself to being acted out, if you have an outside space especially. if not then it’s quite a short story to sit through.(right click and save the image to get the teachers page)
The first church started, but, when something is new it also scares people. The disciples taught people about Jesus and some people didn’t like it, especially the religious leaders who thought they knew all about God, and this Jesus didn’t sound like the God they knew.
So the church was persecuted, the leaders were arrested, they were put in prison, and sadly some of them died because they refused to say that the church’s story wasn’t true. This story happens at a very sad time. One of Jesus’ special 12 followers had just died. Everyone was very sad and scared, because now another one of Jesus’ followers, Peter, was in the same prison.
Peter was chained between two guards, he was praying to God, and he knew that in the city there was a house full of people praying to God too. It was very late and Peter slowly fell asleep. Suddenly there was someone in the prison, light shone brightly and the stranger said “get up”. Peter looked at his wrists to see the chains had fallen off. Peter thought he was dreaming, this must be an angel he thought. “Grab your clothes and shoes and follow me” said the angel.
Peter walked behind the angel, he walked past one guard and then another one, when he reached a door or a gate it opened without anyone touching it. They left the prison and walked into the city streets. Suddenly the angel was gone. Peter looked around him at the city, he wasn’t asleep, this had been real. He needed to find the house of believers and tell them the amazing story.
In the house people were getting tired. Rhoda has the job of keeping everyone awake, she fetched drinks and welcomed new people as they arrived, found places for people to put their shoes and more and more cushions to sit on. She was really, really tired, but she loved Peter, he was their leader, and she was scared what would happen if Peter was killed. The door was being knocked on again, whoever this was they were turning up very late, it was gone midnight.
She ran down to the door. She had to be careful, it could be someone had found them and come to arrest her and her friends. “Who is it” she called softly…. “It’s Peter” came the reply. Peter was in prison, perhaps this was a trap. “Could you say that again please?” she called. “Rhoda, it’s me Peter, let me in” came the reply, in a voice that she knew so well. “Peter!” she squeaked excitedly.
Rhoda ran upstairs, bursting into the room of prayers. “he’s here, he’s here, Peter” she half shouted breathlessly. “stop being silly Rhoda” said a voice. Rhoda felt hurt, this was the news they had all wanted, the thing they had been praying for, didn’t they believe prayer worked. “He’s here” she said quietly “he called my name and asked to be let in, I’d know his voice.”
“Rhoda” said a calm voice next to her, “if he was here why didn’t you open the door?” Rhoda went red, then redder, and then ran from the room. She has been so excited she had forgotten to open the door. Behind her she heard the footsteps of other people, everyone was heading down to the door. Peter did laugh at her for forgetting to open the door, but Rhoda didn’t mind, their prayers had been answered.