Friday, June 22Scripture Reading—Acts 21:1-16
The reading for today continues the story of Paul’s journey to Jerusalem. Again, he seeks out Christians in every city along the way. At Caesarea something dramatic happened. A man named Agabaus came down from Judea and enacted in dramatic fashion, what he believed would happen to Paul if he insisted on going to Jerusalem. He took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands and told Paul that he would be bound in similar fashion in Jerusalem. Later in chapter 21, we read that Paul was indeed apprehended in the temple, just as Agabaus had prophesied. The striking thing about Paul is that he knows trouble awaits him in Jerusalem and yet he persists in pursuing his destination. Just as Jesus went to Jerusalem in response to his understanding of God’s call and mission, so Paul says he is willing to die in Jerusalem if that is what faithfulness to his mission demands. Many of us, myself included, often try to live our lives by pursuing a path with the least amount of conflict or resistance. But most great people of faith, and great people we admire in history are remembered not because they played it safe, but because they were passionate about a cause and pursued their goal in spite of obstacles, ridicule, and suffering. Moses left behind the comfort of Pharaoh’s palace to challenge his power. Most of the prophets suffered ridicule, persecution or death for speaking truth to power. Most of the disciples died martyr’s deaths. Gandhi, King, and others lost their lives as they led people to freedom. Could God be calling you or me to step out of our comfort zone to do something great for God’s kingdom?
Thought for the day: Is there any noble goal or dream in my life I am so passionate about that I would seek its fulfillment even at great personal cost?
Prayer: O God, thank you for people of great faith who have changed the course of history because of their passionate commitment to do your will. In some small way, help me to be gripped by some great sense of purpose that I am willing to pursue even if doing so takes me on a costly and challenging journey that I cannot complete unless you help me. Amen.