Read: Acts 23.10-13-14 (NRSV)
Image an organized group of people who are plotting to have you killed. That’s terrible! Luke shares an occasion when a group of over forty people, make oaths, to not stop until they have Paul killed. We may just one or two people who wish us ill will and we become paralyzed with fear. Remember Paul, who once was known as Saul, had a mission of targeting Christians, and now he is their target. If you, or someone you might know, are in the crosshairs of people at work, creditors, neighbors, or anyone it is a scary moment in our lives. What do we do when people conspire against us? Seek God’s strength, guidance, and fellowship with God’s People– the church.
Sometimes we join those who complain, gossip, and vilify a person or situation, and we become the conspirators. This happens in the community and in the church. It is easier to find someone to blame and we want them to solve the problem, pay the restitution, stop revealing the truth about our weaknesses and shame. Imagine what it would feel like to have forty people working together to trip you up, to point out your every flaw, to have you fired, to have you embarrassed, or to have you killed. Imagine if those forty people worked together for good rather than out of fear. Today is a day to be safe in God’s care. Stand up with those who are being attacked or demeaned. Stand with God and God will provide.
Active Rest: Call, message, email, or text 40 people and ask them to pray with you and become a team of God’s witnesses, not evil’s conspirators.
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.