Acts 17: Uproar – Part II
A Favorite from September 28, 2009.
We do not want to stir or foment division. As Christians and as those who live in the light we want to be able to say that we have added to the world’s serenity and not caused unhealthy competition; but when “serenity” is used to avoid doing and saying what needs doing and saying, this is not God’s uproar we initiate, it is the darkness. We enter into God’s uproar when the marginalized are included, when bridges are built and wounds are healed. Once we begin to look carefully at the tumult around us, we realize that there is a fine difference between chaos with its attendant prejudices and God’s uproar. We see the former as the work of darkness; the latter as the work of the Holy Spirit.
When we become doers of the word and not hearers only, as St. James tells us in his letter, we also call people out of their comfort zones. We cause God’s uproar.
When we ask questions about our own treasure trove, as Matthew and Peter suggest we do, we also ask others to think about the value of the wealth they have amassed. We cause God’s uproar.
When we meet and overcome our own fears and do what others are afraid to do, we cause God’s uproar.
When we live in true charity with one another to pray for our enemies and when we refuse to conform to corruption, we cause God’s uproar.
When we insist on being open to possibilities without giving in to abuse, we cause God’s uproar.
When we tell of the marvels that God has wrought in our own lives, we cause God’s uproar.
Like Paul, when we enter a town and begin to tell the marvelous news that we do not have to retain the chains that imprison our bodies, minds and souls, we can expect pandemonium. It is up to us to examine the din and the tumult to discover its origin, and if the upheaval is God’s we only need persevere and hold tightly to our hope. Sometimes, like Paul, we will move on to the next town or to the next situation; but always – even through the devastation of earthquakes and the violence of storms – we will be accompanied by light . . . we will know that we have entered into God’s uproar . . . and that all will be well.