17Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said,20“Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” 21When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching. When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, 23“We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. 25Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. (Acts 5:17-26, NRSV)
Today is the celebration of Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was read to enslaved African Americans in Texas by Gordon Granger. Texas was the last Confederate State to have the proclamation announced, after the end of the American Civil War in April of that year. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, and minimal fighting meant there were few Union troops present to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation until after the war ended.
It is interesting to me that this devo falls on today. Those who were held as slaves were freed when they should have already been freed and the apostles who were imprisoned wrongly were freed. God works in ways we do not understand.
How can we help the world see that God created us all in a wonderful tapestry of beauty that needs to be seen? How can we all show God’s love to the world and love as God first loved us?
We are all called to set the captive free where ever we see that. Lift up the lowly and help those in need.
That is what God called us all to.