Acts 20:7-12 (HCSB)
7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.8 There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled,9 and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on speaking. When he was overcome by sleep he fell down from the third story, and was picked up dead.10 But Paul went down, threw himself on him, embraced him, and said, “Don’t be alarmed, for his life is in him!”11 After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, he conversed a considerable time until dawn. Then he left.12 They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.
Acts is often a challenging book for Bible scholars. The reason for debate is the question of Acts being descriptive or prescriptive. In other words, is God just showing us how the church formed…a description of church history? Or are the events recorded in order to show us how to do things today…a prescription for church activities? There’s no easy answer, I’m afraid…and probably it is a little bit of both.
And so we come to today’s passage. Most scholars would call this descriptive…but I’m not so sure. For instance:
- Breaking bread – We will do that this Sunday with an awesome cookout after church! Bring a friend…
- Preaching past midnight – when I was a teenager my parents taught me that “nothing good ever happens after midnight”…even preaching!
- Lamps in the room – oxygen is an important commodity in church.
- Sitting on a windowsill – comfortable chairs are an important commodity in church.
- Sleeping during the sermon – you’d be surprised what I see from the pulpit. But I’m not offended. I figure, if Paul could literally bore someone to death, a couple people dozing off isn’t that a huge deal.
- Paul kept on speaking – Pastors that say… “In conclusion…” and keep on preaching need to stop lying!
- Going upstairs, breaking the bread – Nothing makes me hungrier than raising the dead.
- Conversed a considerable time – Really?! You just killed a guy and you’re STILL not finished with your sermon?!
So dear friends, here is my pledge to you: I pledge to preach the truth of the word of God, trying very hard not to bore you to death. And that’s my Bible lesson for today.