Prayer: O God, may our faith and your Word reach out to those who do not know you as we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Turned upside down
6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also,
In today’s text we see that when Paul preaches some believe and follow Jesus, and others do not. In fact, the “others” believe that Paul has been turning their world upside down. Our DW rightly asks; when was the last time you heard a sermon that turned the world upside down? Remember the Billy Graham Crusades? They changed a lot of people and turned their worlds upside down. But we don’t hear God’s word in those ways much anymore.
We tend to like things to stay the same. Change is not easy for most of us. We like our comfortable church and our favorited pew. We like feeling comfortable and stable. Imagine how some people felt when Paul came along and changed their world. He tore down what they had always believed and showed them where they were wrong. Many did not like it.
But isn’t the Gospel about changing us? Doesn’t Jesus teachings change the way we look at the world around us? Doesn’t He speak out against many of the norms of society and remind us that we must do things differently? Our DW points out that before Jesus there was death. After Him we know about the resurrection. It was, and is a big deal.
Our DW explains; “God is always doing a new thing, not the same old thing. Our faith can open us to God’s power to make us what we are called to be, not just who we already are”
Prayer: “God, turn my world upside down and make me what you want me to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Acts 17:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Uproar in Thessalonica
17 After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” 8 The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9 and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.