Text: Acts 19:21-41
For faith to be both right thinking and right doing
For those who resist the message of Christ
For victims of mob action
“A RIOT IS AN UGLY THING and it’s just about time we had one!” Demetrius the silversmith isn’t quoted as saying these words, but he might as well have. By the time he and his fellow craftmen are done, the entire city of Ephesus is in an uproar—angry and seething, their energy barely contained by city officials as they gather in the amphitheater.
This event shows how idolatry undergirds every aspect of life. The cult of Artemis served as the focus of religious and cultural identity in the eastern half of the Roman Empire; the local economy depended on the worshippers and travelers who visited the city; the temple itself served as a sort of proto-bank, ensuring a stable money supply. Success in war, business, childbirth, and community was tied to her. There was simply no part of life not touched by Artemis of the Ephesians.
As Christians, our lives are undone by the work of God in Christ. We are not who we were before we encounter God, and from the moment our Lord claims us in in the waters of baptism, we have a new identity, hidden in Christ Jesus. Every aspect of our lives flows from and reflects the new life we have been given by God. We do not give over to the uproar of earthly, idolatrous living, but by our actions we bless our neighbors, seeking to aid and comfort them in life.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks