Monday, April 18, 2016

Turning the world upside down

Daily reading: Acts 17:1-9
Monday April 18, 2016

Focus passage: But the Jews became jealous and brought along some thugs who were hanging out in the marketplace.  They formed a mob and started a riot in the city.  They attacked Jason’s house, intending to bring Paul and Silas before the people. Acts 17:5

In today’s passage we are able to see a variety of responses to the news of the resurrected Christ.

Paul is on a major Roman highway that connects the eastern and western parts of the empire.  In Thessalonica he stops, which is an urban center along this major highway.  While there, he preaches in a synagogue about the resurrection of Jesus.
And the trouble and the resistance begins, so enraged, the religious insiders go on a mission to seek out Paul and Silas because they are “turning the world upside down:”  Which is somewhat ironic coming from an angry mob that is on a mission to literally turn Jason’s house upside down in order to find Paul and Silas.  They are ready to disturb the peace because they are so enraged and disturbed by the message coming from Paul.
When they can’t find him, they turn their anger toward the one who offered hospitality to the guests and so they drag Jason, their host out to meet with the city officials and charge him with the crime of calling someone other than Caesar king.

The proclamation of a resurrected Christ does indeed turn our world upside down.  And those with power don’t want their world turned upside down.  They are willing to even violate their own community’s values of respecting one another and their property to stop the spreading of the news of resurrection.
And while this is an extreme example, it does offer for us the opportunity to pause and to examine when in our community have we stood with tradition rather than with the movement of the Spirit?  When have we stifled creativity or silenced new voices?

Prayer:  God help me to share my faith story with others.  Help me to find the words that will speak to others.  Amen.

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