Text: Acts 18:1-11
For those on the edge of faith
For those God is approaching
For growth as a disciple
WITH PAUL NOW IN CORINTH, a general point about the stories of Acts might be in order. You may have noticed that, in every place the apostles went, there was an encounter with someone, or a few someones, who were religious. Philip converts the Ethiopian as he studies the Scriptures riding home from a religious festival. Peter has the famous encounter with Cornelius, a noted God-fearer. Paul’s meeting with Aquila and Priscilla, Jews expelled from Rome, is just one of many that he has as he goes from town to town. These are folks who live by the rhythms and disciplines that religious devotion brings.
Now, this fact flies in the face of our hopes about God, who we believe is just hanging out and hoping that we’ll get around to noticing him at some point as we do whatever spiritual practice or activity catches our fancy. These stories are also stories of readiness, of being prepared. Our preschool once had a visit from the local fire station, and as the fire fighters showed off the truck and the equipment, they explained that they did regular classes, cleaned and prepared and rechecked their equipment, and in general were very disciplined—devout—about their preparations, because in the event that there was a fire, they wanted to be ready. Do you see how the people in Acts were ready for the fire of the Holy Spirit that was about to be poured out on them?
Now, let’s be clear—our devotion, our discipline does not make God appear, or the Holy Spirit come, any more than a fire fighter’s preparations make fires break out. But to engage in the disciplines of the Christian—to worship God in spirit and truth; to study the Scriptures, the words and habits of Jesus; to connect to other Christians in community, to serve the neighbor with our skills, resources and time; to do these things means that we are also in a better position to recognize God at work, we are ready when the Spirit is about to burn.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks
---Detail, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Suess