Our Bible passage today recounts how the apostle Paul is keen to race in and address a large crowd of angry people in Ephesus. I take it because he saw it as a gospel opportunity to explain to many people just exactly who Jesus is. The text, Acts 19:30-31, implies the desperate nature of the situation and how, it appears, Paul was not easily dissuaded. In the end wisdom prevailed and Paul stayed out of it. There were other times where he got involved and ended up being left for dead on the side of the road. Such was the risk of being a Christian in those days.
Paul’s passion inspires me. He’d spent two years showing people the futility of idol worship and had seen many of them rescued from such foolishness. So significant had been his ministry, the economy of the city had been impacted, hence the riot he now faced, and faced boldly, because he knew the hope he could give people.
Next Saturday, hundreds of people will wander through our doors looking for some entertainment, and there will be the chance for us to share that hope with those God brings to us. It is a key opportunity for Christians and their love for people to be visible to our community. Many who come will be just as lost as the people Paul tried to love, and all God calls us to do is show care and interest in them and seek to build bridges for the gospel.
I warmly encourage you to seek out Kathy and Rob and volunteer some time next Saturday to help with whatever tasks you feel you can do. Behind the scenes or out talking with people, every part of the body of Christ can have a part in this great opportunity. And as we work together loving and serving, we pray that God may use our efforts to draw people to himself.
We thank God we don’t have to risk our lives to be a witness for Jesus, and we thank God for the opportunity to play a part as ambassadors for Jesus in our community.