Don’t Sleep In The Sermon
When I was a boy, every Saturday night my dad had a rally and radio broadcast in the heart of Times Square in New York City. One Saturday in the fall he took me up the Hudson to West Point for the Army Penn State game and then we rushed down to the city for his meeting.
I sat way up in the balcony and fell sound asleep during the first song. Suddenly, someone was yelling and screaming, and I was wide-awake. There was a young man having some kind of a seizure near the front, and the ushers were rushing to him with some medical personnel to get him some help. I went from being sound asleep, scared out of my wits, to “what’s going on”, and then finally relief that everything was okay.
On the Apostle Paul’s last day in Troas before he set sail for Jerusalem, there was a young man named “Lucky” who needed a lot more than luck when he fell asleep during Paul’s late night sermon.
“On the first day of the week we came to eat together. Paul was speaking to them and because he was leaving the next day, he prolonged his message until midnight. In the upstairs room there were a number of lamps, where we were meeting.
Now a certain young man named Eutychus was seated in a window. Paul spoke on and on and the young man fell into a deep sleep. He fell from the third story and they lifted him up dead. But Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, his life is in him.’ Then he went back upstairs, ate some food, and after talking till the morning, he left. Then they led the young man away alive and well and were greatly comforted.” Acts 20:7-12
We can learn a lot from these snap shots of first century believers meeting together. This meeting in Troas started early in the morning and didn’t end till the next morning. Mary and I recently went to an anniversary at our church that lasted from ten in the morning until late in the afternoon, but this meeting in Troas was a lot longer and if I got an opportunity to hear Paul speak in person, I wouldn’t want the time to end.
Luke also gives us strong evidence that like the Apostle Peter who raised Dorcas from the dead, Paul was also one of the foundational inspired leaders of the church who had this same power to raise the dead. And again Luke emphasized how believers left their gatherings in the first century strongly encouraged.
LORD, thanks that you didn’t let this gathering of your children in Troas end with a deadly accident. Help me to keep finding encouragement in your Son’s resurrection because it assures me that one day you will fall upon me in my physical death and give me a resurrected life filled with joy forever.
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