As Paul and others begin to spread the news about Jesus, their witness is met with resistance, even violence. They are accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ by proclaiming a new way of looking at what is most important. As we look at our world, perhaps we need to again proclaim a fresh perspective on what is truly important and valuable.
Worship with Holy Communion this week:
Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel
Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship (note this is the only Sunday worship this week!)
9:30 a.m. – Gather in sanctuary for send off for service day, concluding with potluck at noon.
Devotions for this week:
“The Church at Thessalonica” April 16-17, 2016
SHARE: What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding
Sunday, Acts 17:1-9, Church at Thessalonica
Monday, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Thanks to Thessalonica
Tuesday, Acts 6:1-7, Seven Chosen to Serve
Wednesday, Acts 6:8-15, The Arrest of Stephen
Thursday, Acts 7:1-53, Stephen’s Speech to the Council
Friday, Acts 7:54-8:1a, The Stoning of Stephen
Saturday, Acts 8:1b-3, Saul Persecutes the Church
TALK: Consider some of these ideas:
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” Acts 17:2-3
Paul and Silas took on the religious authorities directly, arguing on the Sabbath and proclaiming Christ the Messiah. Religious authorities tried to quell the rebellion by imprisoning those who aided the Christians. But Jesus’ message of love endured, despite the culture of fear.
Why do you think Stephen’s message so threatening?
What words are spoken or heard in your community that are threatening to you? To others? How might you hear or speak those words differently so that they can be received with acceptance and hope?
What does it mean to you that Jesus is the Messiah?
PRAY: Messiah, Jesus, your followers established churches in communities near and far. Take us outside of ourselves and teach us to give away what you have given to us. Show us how to witness to your presence in places near and far. Amen
BLESS: May God fill you with words of love, acceptance, and hope. Amen.