A couple of thoughts: 1) I think I’m getting too long in these posts. The meduim and the original intention was a quick hit. I’m going to try and shorten them. 2) I’m also going to tighten up the focus on one of the readings for the day. What that means is the other readings will now be listed last.
Reading Acts 28:17-31
Over the weekend our reading of Acts came to its conclusion. Instead of jumping to the new reading, I’m pulling this one from Saturday.
The story of Acts is the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The story of Acts is also the story of Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leadership of His church. Luke brings both of those threads, not to a conclusion, but a fulfillment. Paul is now in Rome. The old phrase all roads lead to Rome is the operative one. The ends of the earth have been reached at least metaphorically. Even though the ends had been reached the message was still proclaimed and the nascent church still under the guidance of Jesus. Paul lived in Rome two years (under house arrest) and preached to all who came to him. And he did this preaching openly and unhindered. The Spirit and Jesus had opened a door to the gentiles and the Roman world. And They brought people to Paul – He welcomed all who came to him.
I said a fulfillment instead of an end. Luke ends the story with a picture of what the church looks like. In chains, but free to preach. Always welcoming, always drawing those whom Jesus and the Spirit call. One day there will be an end to preaching and teaching. One day the time of grace will be over, but until then the message continues to go out to the ends of the world. The last picture Luke leaves us with is a fulfillment of the promise at the start the Jesus would be with us always. The purpose of that presense is to save the lost. There are always doors being held open. One day they will close, but until that judgment it is a time of grace. We welcome all in the name of the Lord, teaching them everything He told us.
May the Lord grant you eyes to see those open doors.