Friday, August 10, 2007

Acts 19:21-41

Like yesterday’s reading, today’s reading contains reports of wild events as the gospel makes inroads against darkness. Yesterday in Acts. 19 we read about people burning books which pertained to darkness; books about spells and incantations, things inconsistent with the light of Christ. And it was a big, fat book burning.

In today’s reading a big, fat riot happens. It’s about money and it’s about false gods. Demetrius, a silversmith, realizes that if people believe in Jesus, they won’t need to buy the idols which he and others makes. So he calls a meeting to discuss this problem and also point out that people who worship Jesus won’t worship the godess Artemis or worship at her famous temple. This caused the big riot.

God protected Paul and his co workers in the midst of this. God used a very reasonable town clerk who urged the protesters to be calm (after they had shouted for two hours).

Again I’m thankful for Paul and the courage of he and his coworkers. I see the miraculous way that the gospel spread. I know it must have been hard for the artisans to see a source of their income go away. We too struggle with greed in many forms. I have been reading in I Corinthians to find out more about Paul, and when he lists sins, greed takes a place with other “big league” sins! (I Cor. 6).

These stories in Acts makes it seem like the gospel came through peoples’ lives like a fire hose to drive out darkness. Maybe we also be willing to live in the light as revealed in Scripture. I think greed is tied to trying to feel full, or fulfillment. May God show me what I am greedy about, what I am trying to use to obtain rest or peace instead of finding fulfillment in Christ.

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