Monday, September 15, 2008

Acts: Eutychus (20:7-12)

Poor Eutychus. Not only did this young man have the misfortune of falling from a third story window to his (temporarily postponed) death, but he has become the subject of a passage that is almost always read in a humorous light. “See what happens when you fall asleep in church?” Even when he is not the source of humor, it is turned into a passage about the dangers of preaching too long.

It is a shame that this passage is not taken more seriously. It is not hard to imagine this happening to anyone. A famous and beloved pastor comes to town, for what many are saying will be the last time. You really want to hear him, even though you had a long day. He preaches well into the night, and you can’t help nodding off. You even sat in the window to avoid the heat generated by all the people in the room, which would make you more tired.
It could happen to anyone.

This passage shows us the hope in Christianity. Death is not the end. Death has been overcome. The entire Christian faith rests on the hope of resurrection. Ultimately, we hope for more than the temporary fix we see here and in several other stories in the Bible, but this is evidence that God’s power to beat death is real.

In Christ we have our hope fully realized, but Eutychus and Lazarus and Dorcus are just a little more hope for all of us. This world is imperfect and evil and while we suffer here, we know that there is a future prepared for us where things will be the way they should have been here.

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