Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Acts 17. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.
|Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art|
One of the hypothetical questions that seem to be discussed in American Christian circles is that of persecution. In a lot of ways Americans have not had to experience the physical side of persecution. We are privileged to be living in a country and a time where we are allowed to worship freely. For the majority of our nation’s history Christianity was the norm. Not only did that keep Christians from the persecution that others experience around the globe, but Christians were and still are protected to worship freely. While we are no longer the norm … Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Atheism, Agnosticism, and many other world religions are gaining acceptances in America … we still have the freedom to worship God how we choose.
In our reading today we come to a story about a man named Jason. Jason lived in Thessalonica and was a believer in Jesus. He let Paul and Silas stay with him while they were in town. Because of this, some Jews wanting to rid their city of the Apostle, rounded up Jason and others and brought them before the courts. They were punished and a bond was set, all because they were following Jesus and being kind to His followers.
When we read that story what floods our mind. Are we detached from that story because we have never as American’s really experienced that type of persecution? Do we read it and simply continue on? Do we internalize it and try to imagine what it would be like? Does it transform us in any way? If you take nothing else from today’s reading contemplate how you would respond to a threat like Jason faced (or imagine one even worse). How does your answer today differ than an answer you would have given just a few years ago?