From today’s Moravian Texts, Acts 13:20-33 on 1/16/15…
“Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.”
~ Acts 13: 26
When there has been a major devastating event in a given location, like an earthquake, the rescue teams that come in are trained to help the people there restore normal life by helping them re-establish themselves in four key ways: Compassion, Community, Connecting Story, and Compass*.
Compassion – people who have lost everything obviously need someone to care.
Community – they need to come together for support, safety, and encouragement.
Connecting Story – life has been disrupted, they need to be reminded of the big picture that they are a part of.
Compass – there may be nothing recognizable, common landmark may be gone or no longer recognizable.
As I read today’s passage I see all of these elements in Paul’s speech to his listeners. The earthquake of them missing the Messiah had come and gone without them even realizing, but it happened never the less, and the world had changed.
Paul shows COMPASSION, identifying with them and reminds them of their COMMUNITY and their CONNECTING STORY as he intentionally refers to them as, “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles,” and tells the story of the story of the people of God.
“Remember who you are!” we can almost hear him say.
And he finishes with this statement in verses 32 & 33 of Acts 13:
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“‘You are My Son;
today I have become Your Father.’
Pointing them back to the Scriptures as a COMPASS to help them find their way in a new and strange future.
My prayer for us today is that you and I would come to think of ourselves as the rescue team for our respective communities. Not because we’re superior but because we have already received help and now we want to help others by pointing them towards COMPASSION, COMMUNITY, their CONNECTING STORY, and the COMPASS of Scripture and Jesus Himself.
(*Thanks to Mike Breen for the rescue team analogy!)