Reading: Acts 13:14-52 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: “If you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it,” the officials of the synagogue said to those gathered. And Paul stood up and gave it.
Years ago, I attended church with a friend of mine who went to a congregation that was not a mainline denomination. They did things differently. In fact, they would not have anything planned ahead of time for worship. A piano player would be there and they would just shout out hymns they felt led to sing. And someone would give up and give a message and read the scripture verses they felt called to read. It was very different than what I was used to doing in worship, but I found it refreshing and interesting that they relied on the Spirit for their guidance in worship.
That is a similar scene to what I see here in our story today. In the temple, they give time and space for someone to get up and give a message from God. And Paul does that. He is led by the Spirit to give God’s Word to others.
This Sunday we commemorate Mary Magdalene. She, like Paul, listened to where God was calling her. She followed Jesus when he was on this worth and shared her faith story with others. As we look to her as an example, how are you being called by God in this time and place? If you have words of exhortation, stand up and speak it! Maybe you will respond to God by showing hospitality to a stranger or telling your faith story. Just do it! God will be with you to help and guide you.