Archive for April 22nd, 2019

Acts 20:7-12: Absolute Claim
Easter Monday, April 22, 2019

Paul raises Eutychus

On Saturday we reflected on Christ making an absolute claim on his audience at the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath as he combined teaching and miraculous actions of exorcism and healing.  Today we see the Apostle Paul give over to this absolute claim that Christ places on him when we read about the energy, the passion and determination with which Paul preaches the good news of liberation.  He is so much in the Spirit that he goes on for hours about The Word, and then is able to revive Eutychus from death.

I love this story.  We can picture Paul talking well into the night.  All the lamps are lit; everyone has shown up and packed into the upstairs room.  The crowd is so dense that Eutychus perches on a window sill, all the better to see and hear.  But as midnight approaches, this young man dozes off and tumbles to the ground three stories below.  This young man who fallen asleep while listening to Paul speak!

We can continue to imagine how everyone must have hurdled down the stairs to find Eutychus dead on the ground.  But just as Christ has made absolute claim on Paul to ask him to speak fully the Gospel, so too does he make this claim of Eutychus . . . whom he returns to life through the Apostle Paul.

And they took the boy away alive and were immeasurably comforted. 

I have always thought that Eutychus was changed irreparably from that day onward.  I like to think that he told and retold the story continually, each time realizing with more depth the importance of the event: Christ has absolute claim on each of us.  Christ calls . . . Eutychus answers this call to return to life to tell the wonderful story of the good news he has experienced.

This is a truth.  We are made.  We are loved.  We are sent forth to bear fruit, no matter our circumstances.  We are always the children of God, the sisters and brothers of Christ.

Have we dozed off listening to the Word being preached well into the night?  Have we perched ourselves dangerously on the windowsill where we tell ourselves we will be better able to see and hear?  When we tumble to hit the hard ground, will we respond to the absolute claim Christ has on us?  When we hear his Voice, will we answer the Call?  Will we gather round those who live again in the life to move back into this world immeasurably comforted . . . and immeasurably changed?

Lent is a time for tumbling, recovering and reviving.  It is a time for measuring, asking and hoping.  As we move through these last cold days of winter in anticipation of a warm breeze and clear skies, let us stand again as Eutychus did, and give over to Christ’s absolute claim on us.  Let us allow our friends to gather us up, let us allow ourselves to be touched by the healing hand of Christ, and let us give ourselves over to the one who has the only legitimate absolute claim on our body, mind and soul.

Let us be immeasurably comforted by the Christ.

A re-post written on March 4, 2009 and posted on March 7, 2012 as a Favorite . . .

Image from: http://www.mythfolklore.net/lahaye/239/index.html

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