Archive for December 12th, 2007


Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 19:21-41 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

This short sentence really stood out to me:

“But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

I know what you’re thinking, “What about this verse would stand out to anyone?”

Before we get into that, let me set up this story for you: Paul is on one if his missionary journeys that brought him to Ephesus. Prior to Paul’s visit, the people of Ephesus worshiped Artemis, the goddess of fertility. When Paul began to preach the Christian message, many people turned away from their worship of Artemis and began to worship Jesus. The craftsmen of the city were upset by this shift; not because they were so devoted to Artemis, but rather because it affected their income. People were no longer buying the silver shrines of Artemis that the craftsmen created. They began rioting, captured Paul’s traveling companions and received an audience with the legal authorities.

That brings us to verse 34. During the rioting we are told that the craftsmen “shouted in unison for about two hours: Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m impressed by their determination. I mean, they shouted together for TWO HOURS! How were they able to sustain that? The only answer I can come up with is passion. Right or wrong, they felt passionately about their “idol.” The idol isn’t really Artemis, it’s money. The craftsmen weren’t genuinely concerned about Artemis; only about the money they received making shrines to her. But can’t you just feel their passion?

When was the last time any of us displayed this much passion for the one that we worship, Jesus Christ? Why can’t we seem to muster up this much enthusiasm when it comes to standing up for our God? I don’t know about you, but I know that I can certainly do a better job of demonstrating my passion for Jesus. Let’s shout in unison together: “Great is Jesus Christ, the Messiah!” Don’t worry though, I don’t think we need to shout for two hours.

Thought for the day: What do I get worked up over? What do I get excited about? Where do my passions lie? Where should they lie?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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