>This is another non-foodie post. Sue me.
Today in my Acts class we discussed Acts 21:1-16. During this particular passage, Paul learns that when he gets to Jerusalem, he’s going to be bound hand and foot and taken into custody by the Romans, who frankly don’t like him very much. His response to this prophecy is to basically say “Bring it on!” To me though, that’s not even the most amazing part of the story.
Paul receives this prophecy while in Tyre, a church he didn’t help start. Our class is very Paul-centric (It’s called Acts and the Pauline Epistles…) so its really easy to forget he’s not the only Christian in the joint. When he greets the brothers in Tyre, my first reaction is always to say “Oh yeah…there are other people telling the world about Christ.” It, in essence, breaks down the fourth wall of our reading and we become aware that we are seeing a very, very narrow thread of history.
The most incredible thing that happens to me every time this passage comes up is that not only am I aware of Paul’s contemporaries, but I become aware of God’s story. He called Paul to this mission, called him to his final show in Rome, and unbelievably calls us to continue the story. It’s so easy, so tempting, to read the Bible and think idealistically about how things were, how amazing these heroes of our faith are, and to long for the good ole days, but the story isn’t over!
Even though the Bible, as a book, ends in Revelation, God’s story and mission keeps trucking along. We are called just as Paul was called. The decisions and actions Paul lived with dictate what we can do today…through very loose logic I could even say that Paul going to Tyre was necessary for me believing in God. God’s story predates us, it will outlast us, and it is the eternal, never-ending idea of love. We just get to play a small part in the passion play, exactly like Paul did.
Amazing what a small church in Tyre can make you think about, eh?
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17