Saturday, June 13, 2009
I recently read the Biblical book known as "The Acts of the Apostles." While I have read it many times, I did it this time because I suggested it as summer reading material to our worshiping community the past few Sundays. It seemed appropriate to do what I was asking others to do so I read "Acts" again. It is one of my favorite sections of Scripture and I have preached from it so many times. As I was reading this time, I noted some trivia which had gone unnoticed on previous readings. Did you know that Acts records a "book burning?" (Acts 19:19) Did you know that some town could have put up a sign at the city limits saying, "Paul, the Apostle, got a haircut here?" (Acts 18:18) And, did you know Paul had a sister? (Acts 23:16) I must have missed those important facts on earlier readings!
When I read it this time, I found a new Bible that was unmarked so that it would make for a fresher read. I also decided to take special note of each reference to prayer in the story. Each time there was a reference to prayer, or each time it was implied, I circled the verses and asked, "What is the prayer lesson here?" I could preach all summer on the prayer passages and what is taught by them.
But, even though I was reading looking for the passages on prayer, I could not help but find myself being drawn into that powerful story of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of the Apostles and those who were a part of that great first century movement of God. I kept remembering how someone has said, "Reading 'Acts' is like handling high voltage lines." He is right. It is. Reading "Acts" also always makes me long for something more for the church. It even makes me long for and get in touch with my own abiding hunger for more of God in my life.