Excerpt from Acts 17:1-15
“While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities…”
Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
Jason hosted Paul and Silas in his house, and got in trouble for it. If you provide hospitality to God’s messengers, sometimes the world isn’t going to understand.
If you saw Sparkle in church, you might infer from her feather, leopard, and vinyl outfits that she is a member of a profession that is very difficult, very old, and mostly performed after dark. Nobody knows for sure, and Sparkle’s not saying. In fact, she won’t tell you anything about herself, but if you talk to her in coffee hour, she’ll tell you a whole lot about God, and about why church matters. She loves them both with a passion.
Once, as Sparkle was leaving the building, some well-dressed tourists passing by wrinkled their noses and said, plenty loud enough for her to hear, “Ugh! Look how she’s dressed! Do you think she’s working at THIS time of the morning?” Sparkle just held her head high and kept on walking.
In fact, she HAD been working, all morning, on the Lord’s work: praising God in two worship services and then sitting at the teenagers’ table at the church breakfast, where she told them God loves them and that their church had welcomed her when others wouldn’t.
Those tourists might not understand why we need Sparkle, but God knows our teenagers do.
Lord, give me the heart to build a church that welcomes troublemakers like Paul, and mysterious women like Sparkle, and sinners like me, for we all need your gifts, and the world needs ours. Amen.
About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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