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READING: ACTS 13:40-44
Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
“‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’”
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
Hi, welcome to the Foundations Podcast for Wednesday 15th November. My name is Dave and today’s passage is Acts 13: 40-44. In today’s passage we see the end of Paul’s sermon. However today we’re going to focus on what happens next. I think that there is something to be pulled out of both verse 43 and verse 44. First to verse 43. It reads: When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Here’s a simple question; do you stay for coffee? Let me clarify, when Church has finished on a Sunday morning or evening, do you rush off straight away or do you stick around a little? The coffee isn’t the essential bit here, I’m only an occasional coffee drinker myself, other refreshments are available!
This passage says that after the gathering had finished many people chose to carry on their conversations. To press into what they had heard. Why do we do Church? Why do we gather on a Sunday? I think there are a lot of reasons, but the one I want to pull out today is that it is a celebration.
Gathering together on a Sunday is a time of celebration! It’s a coming together of the family of God. A family reunion if you like, except it happens every week so it’s probably more of a family rhythm. It’s a time that is designed to inspire us, to spur us on. Why would we want to rush away from that place!
Just as the people in this passage wanted to continue their conversations, my prayer for us is that we find being around our heavenly family so life giving that we have to be thrown out the building as the lights are being turned off, not trying to slip away unseen. My apologies to the wonderful estates team whose job it would be to do the kicking out!
Let’s turn to the next verse, verse 44. It reads: On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
Wow. There’s the challenge right there! The next week almost the whole city turned up! If that happens this weekend at STC Sheffield then the estates team really will have their work cut out! I’m sure they’d find the chairs from somewhere.
Let’s think about this. The people loved to gather. The next week loads more came. What happened there? They didn’t just come out of thin air; they must have heard what was going on. Or more likely, they must have been invited by those that had been there.
Are we inviting our friends to the family celebration? Not just those that we think would fit, or have some kind of Church history. In the passage almost the whole city came. You can bet that would have included all sorts of people. People from all walks of life.
Let’s pray this week that God will help us to invite people into the family celebration that is Sunday Church. And if they come, why not invite them to stay for a coffee?
Father thank you that we can come together as a family and celebrate all that you have done for us and all that you are currently doing in our lives. Please give us opportunities to invite others to come and encounter you. Amen.
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