Good morning all! Happy Monday!
Today’s scripture: Acts 20:7-12
7 On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. 9 A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. 12 Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.
I love that this story exists in the bible. Have you read it before? Did you know it existed? Eutychus falls asleep during the sermon. He probably should have placed himself elsewhere…perhaps not a window sill. Just this weekend, one of my cousins asked me if I get offended if I look out while preaching and someone is asleep. All I need to do is go back and read this story if I am offended. Even Paul caused some to fall asleep….even fall to their death from exhaustion. I told my cousin that I really don’t get offended if someone is “resting their eyes” because perhaps that is the reason they needed to be in church that day.
Perhaps life is soooo hectic every other day that this space, this time, this comfort, is the only time to catch up and take a deep breath. Perhaps there is just no time to just….be…in daily life. Perhaps that moment in the pew or chair is the first time a person has really taken a deep breath and relaxed. That doesn’t offend me.
One day I was preaching at our 845 service and my microphone was acting up. So I stopped the sermon and asked our wonderful worship team leader to run to the sound board to check it out. I waited until we figured it out and then I said to the congregation, “ok, where was I?” Ron replied, “I don’t know about anyone else but I just had a really great nap!” When the laughter died down I asked, “Ok, Ron, do you remember what I might have been talking about?” He replied after a moment and very hesitantly, “Jeeesuuus?”
Now aside from the fun story about sleeping in church this scripture does highlight a few things. First of all, I don’t blame Eutychus. Paul is preaching well into the night. In fact, we are told that it is midnight when this happens. Paul is sooooo excited about his message that he wants to cram all possible time. Sometimes we have much to say about what God is doing in the world. We get all amped up and stay up well into the night. But at the same time, if we haven’t taken care of ourselves and had the proper rest, we really can’t receive those exciting things. There is something to be said for balance as Eutychus finds out. Sometimes we need to rest. I know that it is Monday morning and you are gearing up to get today done but please find some rest today. No falling out of windows and causing great harm.
Now the end of the story…Eutychus dies from his fall but he is brought back to life. Another resurrection story but by Paul. God is still doing amazing things in the world despite our fall and we are part of it. Once the young man has rested, God has restored.
We need to rest every once in a while and if it can’t happen today, I am preaching two services on Sunday. 😉